Naoya Inoue plans to remain at 122 pounds and reign as undisputed champion for at least one defense
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – It is customary in Japan for the winner of a world title bout to participate in a press conference the day after the fight. Newly crowned WBC and WBO 122-pound titleholder Naoya Inoue responded to questions Japanese media on Wednesday, the day after he scored a dominant eighth-round stoppage of America’s Stephen Fulton. Inoue, who was uninjured and unbruised, cooly revealed his future plan.
“I wish to unify all the four world title belts within this year (against WBA and IBF titleholder Marlon Tapales). It may take three years to have myself physically adjust to the 122-pound weight class, and then I may move up to the featherweight division. After taking a rest for a week, I wish to return to gym work.”
His manager and promoter Hideyuki Ohashi, former WBC and WBA minimum champ, explained his blueprint.
“If possible, Naoya will take on Tapales for the four-belt unification this year. Then, next year, he may face [122-pound contenders] John Riel Casimero or Luis Nery. [WBO featherweight titleholder] Robeisy Ramirez might be Naoya’s future target should he move up to the featherweight division in the future.”
There were 10 television cameras and one hundred media people surrounding the four-division champ at the Ohashi Gym. Outside the gym, fight fans were waiting for Naoya to appear to ask for his autograph. Inoue has really become a national hero along with Shoei Ohtani, the sensational baseball player in the Major League Baseball.
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