“The Monster” is headed up in weight, Naoya Inoue annouced today during a press conference. Inoue, who holds the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO world titles at bantamweight will give up all of the titles as he prepares to now campaign at 122 lbs.
“The real battle starts from here,” Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted Inoue as saying. “I am very excited.”
Inoue, 29, is very much highly regarded around the boxing world, with him being rated as a top pound-for-pound fighter in most everybody’s list. There’s little else for him to prove at the 118 lb division, so here he’ll move up to test the waters against bigger men.
Eventually there will come a point where Inoue’s natural size will place him at a square disadvantage as he climbs the weight ladder, but we’ll have to see how he fares here before we can make any ultimate determination. But by most accounts, many believe Inoue will carry the weight at 122 pretty well, although there should be some real challenges along the way.