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Naoya Inoue moves upto 'super bantamweight' after vacating his belts

Naoya Inoue, an undefeated Japanese boxer, revealed his decision to vacate all four bantamweight championships and move up to the super bantamweight division on Friday.

Inoue stated at a press conference in Yokohama that his toughest task would be to become the world's first boxer to sweep the WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF belts in two weight classes.

"The real battle starts from here," Inoue said. "I'm very excited."

Last month, the 29-year-old, dubbed "Monster," completed a four-fight sweep of the bantamweight division with an 11th-round knockout of Britain's Paul Butler, who entered as the World Boxing Organization's bantamweight champion.

"I'm confident that I can take on top-level super bantam boxers, even at present," Inoue said. "But it will take a while to make myself really unbeatable."

Inoue has won titles in three separate weight classes, having previously competed in the light flyweight and super flyweight divisions.

In June 2022, he became the first Japanese fighter to top the pound-for-pound rankings released by the respected Ring magazine, and he now has a 24-0 record with 21 knockouts.

As for Inoue's next opponent, his boxing gym chair Hideyuki Ohashi only said, "It's under discussion."


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