Naoya Inoue Eyes Nakatani: “I Look Forward To Fighting Him”

Will Inoue and Nakatani Deliver A Fight for the Ages?

Naoya Inoue eyes a fight with Junto Nakatani
Naoya Inoue looks forward to facing Junto Nakatani (credit: Kyodo, Instagram @junto.n)

Naoya Inoue Praises Junto Nakatani as a Worthy Adversary

Reigning undisputed junior featherweight champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs) and the current WBC bantamweight champion, Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KOs), are two of the elite fighters in the sport. Are the two Japanese fighters on a collision course? It’s a fight that The Monster is entertaining.

Inoue is in New York City, where he received the Sugar Ray Robinson Award after being named the 2023 Fighter of the Year Award by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America. While in America, he spoke with ESPN.

Among the topics of discussion was the possibility of a fight with Nakatani, in which Inoue said the following:

“He’s a really good fighter. In the future, it would be nice. I look forward to fighting him.”


The junior featherweight champion is coming off a sixth-round stoppage over Luis Nery on May 6 in Tokyo, Japan. Inoue has risen to superstar status. A two-time unified champion, the 31-year-old is a future Hall of Famer. There’s been plenty of talk throughout the boxing community about who could defeat the 31-year-old. Nakatani has as good of a chance as any fighter from 118-126 pounds.

The bantamweight champion is a lefty with good height, boxing IQ, skill, and power in both hands. At age 27, he’s starting to hit his physical peak. Nakatani is one of Inoue’s biggest threats.

RELATED: Team Nakatani: “Junto Is Stepping On Those Inoue Shoes Hard”

If they were to meet, it’s one of the best matches in the sport. In Japan, an Inoue vs. Nakatani showdown is arguably the biggest fight in that nation’s storied boxing history. Will it ever happen? With Inoue saying that he’s interested, it is only a good sign that it eventually occurs. Serious fight fans have their fingers crossed that it does.

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About Mike W.2010 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for