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Naoya Inoue: Leery of MJ Akhmadaliev or Doesn't Want to be Dictated?


PhilBoxing.com





The Monster Naoya Inoue is uncharacteristically acting strangely these past few days.

That is since the WBA ordered him to make a mandatory defense against former WBA-IBF unified champion Morudjon "MJ" Akhmadaliev and for his camp to begin negotiations with the Uzbek side fpr the fight to happen within a prescribed pediod.

We understand that Inoue has originally set to defend against Australian Sam Goodman who is next in the order of his mandatory challenger for IBF and likewise for WBO being the top rated contender of the two organizations.

But Goodman has requested his mandatory challenge of Inoue to be moved from September to later in the year, most likely December.

The Inoue camp acts as if Goodman's change of mind has the effect of upseting the priority plan of Inoue for another blockbuster fight in Japan, likely again at the Tokyo Dome

Or possibly their accepting an equally lucrative bout in the UK underneath an Anthony Joshua main event as proposed by Saudi organizer.Turki Alhaskikh.

But does it really?

What is wrong with a mandatory defense versus MJ Akhmadaliev coming ahead of Goodman's?

Value for money wise, MJ has the edge over Sam being a former unified champion. Goodman may be undefeated but Akhmadaliev has definitely faced the more quality opposition.

Talking of prominence with Japanese fans, though MJ has yet to fight in Japan, he has fought and beaten a Japanese ex world titlist Ryosuke Iwasa. Goodman has not faced a Japanese fighter; his introduction coming by way of his presence in Inoue's fight versus Luis Nery at the Tokyo Dome as an interested spectator.

Recent reports have it that Inoue seems bent on ignoring and defying the WBA and instead considering on another ex titlst Irish TJ Doheny as his next foe, in a title defense despite Doheny not in the order of his mandatory defense.

Doheny is also familiar to Japanese fans having fought and beaten some Japanese foes, including Iwasa from whom he won the IBF super bantam crown and Shohei Takahashi who he defeated in his first title defense.

But Doheny already has four losses including to Danny Roman from whom MJ won the IBF crown, and to Goodman. He is also aging at 37 years old and likely past his prime.

It is indeed hard to understand the focus on Doheny.

The only conclusion that can be drawn in Inoue's hesitance to the point of risking being stripped of a crown is that either he does not want to be dictated upon by the WBA in the matter of his next defense.

Or he is leery of MJ.Akhmadaliev.

Note that the Uzbek, despite an upset title loss by split decision to Marlon Tapales remains a dangerous fighter who can fight and win anywhere.

And that his handlers and supporters are capable of bidding to have the fight held in Tashkent or at least in a neutral country

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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