Naoya Inoue isn’t looking too far ahead for his future plans as the Japanese “Monster” plans to unify all the four bantamweight titles.
As Inoue enjoys watching on the sidelines of the fight between Skakur Stevenson and Jeremiah Nakathila on Sunday, June 13, the unified super WBA and IBF champion said he’s motivated heading into his title defense against Filipino pug Michael Dasmarinas at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday, June 19 (Sunday, Manila time).
And his motivation? Well, he’s looking forward to facing two Filipino champions on the bantamweight radar.
“For right now, my motivation is to unify all the four world titles. So we got [John Riel] Casimero and we have [Nonito] Donaire,” said the 28-year-old Inoue in Japanese. “That’s who I wanna fight and that’s my motivation.”
Before it happens though, the undefeated Inoue, who holds a 20-0 record on top of 17 knockouts, has much more important business right now as he faces another Filipino challenger in Dasmarinas.
Against Dasmarinas, 25, the Japanese champion will face a southpaw who rides on a 12-match win streak since December 2014 to improve in an overall 30-2 slate with 20 KOs.
Meanwhile, both Donaire and Casimero share a long history with Inoue.
Inoue scored a unanimous decision win over Donaire in their mega-bout that eventually earned the Fight of the year award in November 2019 at the Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Likewise, Donaire, the newly crowned WBC bantamweight champion, has set sights on a rematch with Inoue.
“First of all, I think he was a great fighter,” said Inoue of Donaire after beating Frenchman Nordine Oubaali. “Also, I thought that even if you get old, if you train hard and prepare yourself, you could fight at that level.”
Casimero, on the other hand, used to talk trash about Inoue last October when reports surfaced that the two bantamweight stars have shared an interest in fighting in each other.
It didn’t materialize, however, as Casimero, the WBO bantamweight king, settled to clash with WBA champion Guillermo Rigondeaux instead.