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Second Time for Inoue to Avoid a Certain Opponent After Casimero


PhilBoxing.com





Even long time boxing columnist Lance Pugmire is mystified by Naoya Inoue's adamant reluctance to defend his undisputed world super bantamweight title versus former unified titlist Morudjon MJ Akhmadaliev.

In his latest column at Boxing Scene, Pugmire went as far as insinuating that Inoue is ducking MJ although tactful enough to punctuate his title with a question mark, "If it looks like a duck: Morujon Akhmadaliev Avoided by Inoue?"

We first asked the same question in our earlier article that appeared in Philboxing.com titled, "Naoya Inoue Leery of MJ or Just Doesn't Want to be Dictated?" That is dictated upon by the WBA to defend against its mandatory challenger MJ Akhmadaliev and start negotiations in pursuit of the same, failure of which will result to the WBA itself conducting the reglementary purse bidding.

Pugmire was as quizzical how Inoue would be at a disadvantage subjecting himself to such purse bidding as normally, as champion he is entitled to 75 percent of the purse allocation.

What is also mystifying was Inoue's co-promoter Bob Arum speaking mind on the issue, saying that boxing is business and that MJ is not deserving, not having the name and credentials, only to retract his statement later.

Arum likewise said that "they" should not have resorted to purse bidding and should have approached Inoue's Japanese principals and asked for the fight. The "they" in the first clause could have referred to the WBA but the "they" in the second clause could have referred to both the WBA and the MJ camp. As always Arum was nebulous.

But some netizens theorized that Arum fears losing the purse bidding for his unwillingness to put up more of his money, hence making it possible for the fight to be held outside of Japan. MJ is co promoted by Eddie Hearn who could stage the fight in the UK or in Saudi Arabia in collaboration with Turki Alashikh.

Of course Inoue would not want to go out of his comfort zone in his native Japan. With Arum and the Japanese principals are reasoning that the money is in Japan, pointing out that Naoya could fill out the 50,000 capacity Tokyo Dome.

Sounds credible and justifiable enough.

But boxing is not all business.

MJ said that he could fight Inoue in Saudi Arabia if he is not good enough for Japanese fans. Inversely, that means MJ is willing to fight Naoya even in Japan despite his unfamiliarity to Japanese fans as Arum was claiming.

There is really more than meets the eye in Inoue's reluctance to fight MJ and insisting upon defending instead against Irish TJ Doheny. Doheny is the former IBF champion who lost his crown to Danny Roman from whom MJ won the IBF belt to add to his WBA crown, becoming the fastest to become unified world titlist in only eight pro bouts.

MJ could not understand why Inoue is insisting on Doheny, the man who was beaten by the man whom he himself beat to become unified titlist.

Well, This is not the first time.

Back in 2020, Inoue and Arum pushed aside an unwitting Johnriel Casimero, then the WBO bantamweight champion who was the long announced opponent in unification with then WBA-IBF titlist Inoue in the USA.

Instead, Inoue settled for Australian Jason Moloney, loser to Inoue's earlier KO victim Emmanuel Rodriguez.

As expected Inoue kayoed Moloney inside seven rounds in a promotional bust meant by Arum to reintroduce The Monster to American fans.

Since then, Naoya has fought exclusively in Japan but he continued to avoid Casimero.

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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