Naoya “Monster” Inoue vs Luis “Pantera” Nery
Undisputed super-bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue (26-0, 23KO) is in negotiations to defend his crown to Luis Nery (35-1, 27KO), reportedly set for May 6 in the Tokyo Dome in Japan.
The 55,000-capacity arena played host to the historic fight between “Iron” Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas 34 years ago in February 1990.
The then-undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, had been blasting through opponents in devastating style, which is the exact same feat Naoya has so far achieved.
Buster Douglas was a 42-1 underdog and expected to be swept away in seconds, but instead managed to knock the champion out in the 10th round to cause one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Mexican Nery will not be a 42-1 underdog like Buster was, but he willbe the underdog in this fight. The 29-year-old southpaw from Tijuana is a two-weight WBC world champion, at bantam and super-bantamweight, with just a single loss on his record.
Although Inoue will be the favourite, his 88% KO ratio will be closely matched by Nery’s 77%.
Early feedback from fans is how Inoue’s straight, crisp jabs and punches will work highly effectively against Nery’s wide looping shots. The speed and power of Inoue is what has enabled him to knock out 23 from 26 foes, and many are picking this to end in yet another KO for the Japanese “Monster”.
The featherweight division above Inoue currently has four world champions with one belt vacant. This 126lbs talent-laden division is widely expected to feature some of the best fights in the world during 2024, starting with Rey Vargas vs Nick Ball on March 8th.