UNDEFEATED world bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue is apparently still not keen on a unification title fight with Filipino World Boxing Organization bantamweight kingpin John Riel Casimiro.
Inoue made it known who he would like to face as his next foe after retaining his World Boxing Association super bantamweight and International Boxing Federation bantamweight belts yesterday (Saturday in the US) with a seventh-round knockout of Australian Jason Moloney at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
The “Monster” floored the Aussie challenger in the sixth and seventh rounds before American referee Skip Bayless decided to stop fight with a second to go in the last round when Inoue decked Moloney with a crushing right straight.
Inoue chalked up his 20th straight victory, 17th by knockout, while Moloney absorbed his second loss in 21 fights.
The Japanese fighter then announced that he preferred the winner of the Dec. 12 title match between defending French World Boxing Council titlist Nordine Oubaali and former Pinoy world titlist Nonito “The Flash” Donaire at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“If I had to choose one, it would be the winner of Oubaali and Donaire,” Inoue told Jake Donovan in a post-match interview posted on boxingscene.com yesterday.
“It’s what I (personally) demand,” he said, “because I just want to see how far I can push myself in the ring.”
Inoue and Casimero were scheduled for a unification title clash last April at the same Las Vegas boxing mecca but the fight never materialized with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic since the Japanese was cooped up in Tokyo at that time.
Casimero, who had been in the US since the start of the year, was forced to look for another rival and finally found one in erstwhile unbeaten African contender Duke Micah, whom he stopped in the third round last Sept. 26 at the Mohegan Sun Casino to retain his crown.
The Pinoy world champ, who is back in his hometown of Ormoc, Leyte for vacation, has taunted Inoue since then, calling the Japanese fighter a “turtle” for hiding in his shell.