WBO 115lb champ Inoue to invade US ring


By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda –

Unbeaten WBO 115-pound champ Naoya “Monster” Inoue (13-0, 11 KOs) will invade the US for the first time as he will defend his belt against #7 Antonio Nieves (17-1-1, 9 KOs) on September 9. It will take place beneath a grudge fight between newly crowned WBC titlist in the same category Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and former titlist Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Also shown will be the WBC eliminator between #2 Carlos Cuadras and #3 Juan Carlos Estrada, both of Mexico, with the victor to have a mandatory shot at the Srisaket-Gonzalez winner. The fight place in the West Coast hasn’t been decided yet, but it will be shown by HBO After Dark. Inoue and Gonzalez were in attendance at the press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday. They hope to exchange gloves in the near future. Inoue said, “I’m very much excited to fight in the US to show my power before American people.”

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