Number one bantamweight Naoya Inoue is on a mission to get Paul Butler’s WBO world title.
The Japanese sensation currently holds three belts at 118lbs and is just one away from becoming the undisputed champion. Last month ‘Monster’ ripped the WBC strap away from Nonito Donaire in their rematch which lasted just two rounds. Inoue’s renowned power punching came to the fore and wiped out the Filipino veteran. Now he wants Butler.
During a press conference in Tokyo this week he said:
“I don’t care if we fight in Japan, the US or the UK … I just want to fight him, no matter where it is.”
“My gym is still in negotiations over the Butler fight, and things are moving in the right direction, although I don’t think the details have been worked out.”
“I haven’t watched his bouts in their entirety, but I can see he is a talented and aggressive boxer.”
In April Butler beat Jonas Sultan in Liverpool to win the WBO Interim version but was elevated to full champion status after the WBO stripped John Riel Casimero of the title. The 33-year-old recently told Boxing Social that Inoue is the fight he wants next.
Should Inoue become undisputed champion then he will take his business up to super bantamweight whereas things stand Stephen Fulton Jr and Murodjon Akhmadaliev hold all the belts.
“It depends on my physical condition.”
“Right now, looking at my condition, I think super bantamweight is the best division for me, so if I have the opportunity I’ll go straight to that division and fight one or the other if they have a unification bout.”
“I’m looking to continue fighting until I’m 35,” he added. “I also aim to end my career undefeated. But I know boxing is a tough sport, especially when you go up a division.”