Naoya Inoue plays waiting game

Published June 23, 2021, 12:57 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Japanese boxing icon Naoya Inoue doesn’t see any problem with him resting while waiting for the winner between WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and WBO king John Riel Casimero.

Naoya Inoue (right) throws a body shot at Michael Dasmariñas during their world bantamweight title clash at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas last Saturday, June 19. (Top Rank)

Inoue, the reigning super WBA and IBF titleholder, said his main goal is to capture all the four major belts and there are only two titles missing on his accolades, which are currently owned by the two Filipino boxing champions.

READ: Inoue’s motivation? To face Casimero and Donaire soon

For the Japanese “Monster,” he’s only looking forward to fighting either Donaire and Casimero as far as the bantamweight division is concerned.

Regular WBO champion Guillermo Rigondeaux was also in the bigger picture but Inoue reiterated that he won’t pursue that belt.

“I could wait. I don’t have a problem waiting,” said Inoue, with a help of a translator, after beating Filipino challenger Michael Dasmariñas at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas last Saturday, June 19.

READ: Michael Dasmariñas: Naoya Inoue is a total package

“To prove that I’m the best in the bantamweights, I have to get all four belts and it’s making a progress towards that goal so I look forward to it.”

The 28-year-old Inoue, undefeated in 21 matches on top of 18 knockouts, said his recent victory over Dasmariñas became a motivation for him heading into the future fight against the winner of the all-Filipino showdown.

Donaire, 38, (41-6, 27 KOs) and Casimero, 31, (30-4, 21 KOs) are set to clash in a mega unification bout at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Aug. 14.

READ: Donaire eyes Inoue rematch by end of 2021

Initially, Casimero was scheduled to lock horns with Rigondeaux but the veteran Ghanaian boxer reportedly stepped aside to pave the way for the two Filipinos.

Meanwhile, Donaire, who knocked out Frenchman Nordine Oubaali last month to capture the WBC belt, lauded Inoue for a stronger showing last Saturday compared to when they clashed in the World Boxing Super Series last November 2019 — a bout that earned the Fight of the Year honor.

“I thought he was a lot stronger today (June 19),” said the “Filipino Flash” in an interview with FightHype. “I think because of the fact that he couldn’t use [those left hooks] towards me. But he showed a lot of power and how much power that he has when he has that vantage. I thought he’s really good today.”

READ: Donaire on Casimero: He’s a tough guy but I can knock out anybody