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Dream Matchup? Gervonta Davis vs. Naoya Inoue Brewing?

Turki Alalshikh has expressed interest in facilitating a proposed fight between WBA lightweight titleholder Gervonta Davis (29-0, 27 KOs) and undisputed junior featherweight champion Naoya Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs), contingent on certain conditions being met.

Naoya Inoue

One significant hurdle is the weight difference between the two fighters. Davis competes at 135 pounds, while Inoue fights at 122 pounds. A catchweight agreement would likely be necessary if Inoue is unwilling to jump to the lightweight limit.

Despite the ongoing speculation, Davis is scheduled to face Frank Martin on June 15 in Las Vegas. A victory in this bout is essential for any future fight negotiations with Inoue to proceed.

In an interview on "The MMA Hour," Alalshikh expressed confidence in his ability to make the Davis-Inoue fight a reality through the platform provided by Riyadh Season. “Gervonta Davis, if he gets smart, versus Naoya Inoue,” Alalshikh told Ariel Helwani.

“These are dream fights I like. If [Inoue and Davis] reach the right weight and give us the right proposal, we can deliver it.”

However, Alalshikh, the chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority, stipulated a crucial condition: Inoue must agree to fight internationally and not just in Japan. Despite misconceptions in the West, Inoue has become a significant financial draw, recently attracting a capacity crowd at the Tokyo Dome for his bout against Luis Nery.

Historically, lower-weight divisions have been less lucrative, but Inoue’s rising status has brought greater financial rewards. He has successfully lured notable fighters like Stephen Fulton, Luis Nery, Marlon Tapales, and Nonito Donaire to Japan for high-profile fights.

“But there are important things – Inoue is a great fighter,” said Alalshikh. “Don’t keep him fighting only inside Japan. Let the world see it.

“Make [Inoue] come to us, make him do fights in Saudi Arabia, in America, in London; we are ready to talk about it. He’s a great fighter. It would be a shame if he quits after some years and 99 percent of his fights are in Japan.”

Alalshikh's involvement could pave the way for a blockbuster bout, provided both fighters and their teams can agree on the terms, bringing global attention to this potential clash of champions.


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