Inoue-Nery reportedly agree terms for May fight in Japan

Naoya Inoue has reportedly agreed terms to defend his undisputed bantamweight title in Japan against former two-weight world champion Luis Nery, according to ESPN. 

Inoue-Nery will collide on an unspecified date in May, with Inoue confirming that he would return around that time following his victory over Marlon Tapales on December 26th in Toyko, Japan, which saw the Japanese fighter become a two-weight undisputed world champion.

Inoue claimed a tenth-round stoppage of Tapales to collect a second undisputed title inside a calendar year, after dominating former unified champion Stephen Fulton in July. Inoue dropped the American twice in the eighth round before the referee waved off the contest.

Nery had previously been banned for life from competing in Japan due to failing a drug test following his August 2017 victory against Shinsuke Yamanaka, and failing to make weight in March 2018 against Yamanaka.

However, the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) has reportedly reassured Nary that his ban will be lifted, allowing Nery to compete once again in the region. 

In February of 2023, Nery earned his position as mandatory challenger to Inoue with an 11th-round victory against Azat Hovhannisyan. The WBC title eliminator was universally recognised as one of the fights of the year for 2023. 

Inoue defied expectations by confirming that he would remain at super-bantamweight following his impressive victory over Tapales, with pre-fight predictions suggesting that Inoue could move up to the featherweight division. 

“I think super bantamweight is my weight division for now,” said Inoue following his victory over Tapales. “So, 2024, I would like to show you myself as a super bantamweight in even more stronger form.”