Pound-for-pound ranked bantamweight Naoya Inoue, who will fight to become an undisputed bantamweight champion in December against Paul Butler, as Inoue holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF bantamweight title, and wants Butler’s WBO to complete his undisputed reign.
“I watched the Fulton-Brandon Figueroa fight,” Inoue told Daisuke Sugiura of RingTV. “Fulton is a technical fighter. He can keep his distance very well. I only watched one of his fights and I don’t think the Figueroa fight was his best, so I’d rather not say much more. If we fight each other, I think it will be a great technical battle. It won’t be an easy fight.”
Fulton has been non-committal towards his world title defense against Ra’eese Aleem, and has been asked by boxing royalty heavyweight Mike Tyson about a fight against Inoue in the future.
The fight seems like it has to happen. As both Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue have made mentioned this fight publicly with serious interest.
“I haven’t sparred with any black fighters yet either,” said Inoue which might not fit with the modern nature of a politically correct world we live in. “That’s also an unknown area for me. The black athletes tend to be physically strong. I’d love to fight them and feel their athleticism.”
As for the other world champion in the 122 lbs division, Inoue is unfamiliar with M.J. Akhmadaliev.
“I haven’t watched much of Akhmadaliev yet, only a few highlights here and there,” Inoue said. “He has solid technique and is a strong fighter. I can see that he had a formidable amateur career supported by the Uzbekistan system.”
Inoue is simply so good - that we are no longer looking at opponents in his own division as Fulton or Akhmadaliev offer the most interesting challenges for him at this point. It seems as though “The Monster” Inoue is open to the challenges at a weight class above, if, he becomes undisputed.