Naoya Inoue v Ra’eese Aleem Likely if Stephen Fulton Moves Up
Undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (24-0, 21KO) could face super bantamweight top contender Ra’eese “The Beast” Aleem (20-0, 12KO) for the WBO title. This is provided that unified champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton (21-0, 8KO) decides to vacate the title.
As 3Kings Boxing reported, Fulton will rematch former WBC champion Brandon Figueroa (23-1-1, 18KO) for the WBC Interim featherweight title. The winner could be elevated to full champion status should Rey Vargas vacate the full title after fighting for the vacant WBC junior lightweight title.
After capturing the undisputed bantamweight crown, Monster put the entire super bantamweight division on notice after announcing plans to move up. The 3Kings Top 10 rated fighter is one of the reasons behind the increase in attention for the lower weight division. Fans’ excitement of possibly seeing a showdown with Fulton was quickly quieted by the Figueroa rematch announcement.
MONSTER VERSUS THE BEAST COULD BE ON THE HORIZON
The boxing community may have to settle on Monster fighting The Beast instead. As a champion, the Japanese sensation would leapfrog everyone in the division into the mandatory slot, per WBO rules.
Aleem has been chasing a title fight with Fulton and unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev without success. In 2021, he called out Akhmadaliev after capturing the number-one spot by winning the WBA interim title. He gained the WBO number-one spot after defeating number-two ranked Mike Plania in September 2022.
Many scenarios are possible scenarios here. Boxing fans will be paying close attention to the division for the next two months.
By: Bo Bland