Inoue Invites Porter To Japan: “The Home Of The Division Is Here”

Inoue Challenges Shawn Porter to Updates his Perspective

Naoya Inoue responds to criticism from Shawn Porter
Naoya Inoue invites Shawn Porter to see a match in Japan (credit: Lapresse)

Naoya Inoue Responds to Criticism from Shawn Porter


A topic that will always have fans talking is what constitutes a star in boxing. One whose accomplishments and perceived stardom are under scrutiny is the current undisputed junior featherweight champion Naoya “The Monster” Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs). The champion is not taking this criticism lying down and has decided to defend himself against two-time welterweight belt-holder Shawn “Showtime” Porter, who is questioning the resume of The Monster.

THE WAR OF WORDS

During an appearance on the Pro Box TV podcast Deep Waters, Porter said that for Inoue to be considered the star of boxing, he must fight more outside the comforts of his home country of Japan. In Porter’s mind, Inoue must make more of an imprint in the United States and defeat more American fighters.

Inoue heard what Porter said about him. The normally stoic and laid-back fighter responded with the following post on social media:

Porter is speaking under the age-old adage that for an international fighter to be considered big-time, he must make a name for himself in the United States. But in the context of Inoue, Porter’s criticisms are head-scratching and make little to no sense.

HAS NOTHING TO PROVE TO NOBODY

In November 2019, Inoue signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank. Part of the motivation for signing with them was to make a name for himself in the United States. Inoue has fought twice in the US. In October 2020, he stopped Jason Moloney in seven rounds. Following the win over Moloney, Inoue scored a third-round stoppage over Michael Dasmarinas in June 2021.

Since signing with Top Rank, the Japanese fighter has become the undisputed champion at 118 and 122. While his last four fights have occurred in Japan, they’ve all been aired live on the ESPN networks. Top Rank and ESPN have made a concerted effort to give the 31-year-old a heavy media push. He has universal respect in the boxing community and was 3kingsboxing.com’s Fighter of the Year for 2023.

Inoue is not only the face of the lower-weight divisions. He’s become one of the more popular fighters in the entire sport. If he wants to continue to fight in Japan, the 31-year-old is more than in his right to do so.

Japan is the epicenter of the smaller divisions. It’s where fighters can make the most money and are one of the sport’s cash cows. The Monster faced the best the United States had to offer in then-unified featherweight champion Stephen Fulton Jr. in July 2023. Inoue made easy work of Fulton Jr. and stopped him in eight rounds.

Next up for the undisputed champion is a fight against former WBC bantamweight champion Luis Nery on May 6 at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. That fight is anticipated to draw 50,000 fans.

Here’s the bottom line. In 2024, fanbases in Japan and throughout the globe are bigger and more supportive of boxing than in the United States. Why would Inoue fight in the United States more than he needs to when he’s pulling in huge audiences and making millions in his home country? For Porter to think that the sport revolves around America is arrogant, narrow-minded, and outdated.

Featured Article: Jared Anderson Dominates A Scared Ryad Merhy

About Mike W.1991 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.