Arum on Inoue: 'Probably better than what Pacquiao was'

Hall of Fame promoter, Bob Arum, has promoted many legendary fighters over the years. In recent times alone, he has handled the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, and Julio Cesar Chavez without even mentioning the likes of Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran, Alexis Arguello, Carlos Monzon and Thomas Hearns.

However, Arum has continued his praise of four-weight world champion Naoya Inoue following his win over Stephen Fulton Jr last month to become Tokyo’s unified super-bantamweight world champion. The contest would mark Inoue’s debut in the super-bantamweight division and arguably demonstrated one of the most complete and devastating performances of his career to date.

Arum has compared Inoue and one of his former promotional charges Manny Pacquiao, who captured world titles in eight-weight classes. Arum believes that Inoue is, in fact, better than Pacquiao.

“Inoue is a tremendous, tremendous fighter, like we’ve never seen before, maybe since Manny Pacquiao—probably better than Pacquiao was,” Arum told Little Giant Boxing.

Although Inoue started his career at light-flyweight pounds, Arum believes the phenom can go all the way up to the lightweight limit of 135 pounds.

“I think he has a chance to go all the way up, maybe even to junior lightweight or lightweight,” Arum said.

However, Arum added realism to the conversation regarding how far Inoue could rise up the weight classes, insisting that the super-lightweight division would be a step too far for the Japanese fighter.

“Well, not 140—he’s not a big guy,” Arum said. “Look how Fulton—I was there; he’s so much bigger than he was at 122. Inoue is something special.”

Pacquiao spoke to the same outlet recently and spoke of his desire to work with Inoue and assist him in moving up the weight classes.

“I like Naoya,” Pacquiao told Little Giant Boxing. “Before he became [multi-weight champion], I taught him in Japan. Naoya, he’s thinking of moving up in weight divisions. I hope I can teach him and supervise his workout and training.

“I want to train him and supervise his training if he wants to move up to higher weight divisions.”

Arum responded to Pacquiao’s desires by saying that Inoue does need the eight-weight world champion involved in his career and that Manny has nothing to add to Inoue.

“I love Manny; Manny knows boxing, but what’s he gonna add to Inoue?” Arum said. “Where is Inoue falling short where Pacquiao could help him?”