The #2 seed of the World Boxing Super Series bantamweight tournament, Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14 KOs), has just been officially scheduled to have his first outing against unseeded Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 9 KOs) on October 7th in Yokohama, Japan. The fight will stream live on DAZN.
Inoue, 25, is most recently coming off of a knockout win over Jamie McDonnell this past May when he moved up in weight to snag the WBA bantamweight title. That belt, and a chance to advance in the tournament, will naturally be on the line against Payano, 34, who has won three straight fights since dropping a decision to Rau’shee Warren in mid-2016.
“I didn’t expect to fight the first bout here, but I wish Japanese fans will watch and appreciate my performance at the big Yokohama Arena,” Inoue said at a news conference announcing the date and site. “Payano is a skillful speedster with good experience, and it may be a technical fight. I’d like to fight with patience and finally catch up with him to score a knockout victory.”
Despite having fought only once at bantamweight, Inoue enters the tournament as the favorite to clear the field.