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Naoya Inoue Vs. Luis Nery Arranged For May 6th, Takuma Inoue, Seigo Yuri Akui & Jason Moloney To Defend Their Titles On Undercard

Naoya Inoue Vs. Luis Nery Arranged For May 6th, Takuma Inoue featured image
Japan's undisputed world super bantamweight boxing champion Naoya Inoue (L) poses for a photo with Mexico's Luis Nery, top-ranked by the World Boxing Council, in Tokyo on March 6, 2024. They will face each other at Tokyo Dome on May 6. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Naoya Inoue will attempt to continue his undisputed dominance in the super bantamweight division against Mexican contender Luis Nery on one of the biggest boxing cards set to be held in Japan this year. The event, which will be jointly promoted by Top Rank, Teiken Promotions, and Ohasi Promotions, will also see the younger brother of Naoya Inoue, Takuma Inoue, feature on the card where he will defend his WBA bantamweight title against fellow countryman Sho Ishida. Additionally, Australian WBO bantamweight champion Jason Moloney will defend his belt against Japanese contender Yoshiki Takei, while Seigo Yuri Akui will defend his recently-won WBA flyweight title against compatriot Taku Kuwahara. The major boxing event wll be held at the Tokyo Dome, in Tokyo, on May 6th.

The May 6th event will feature some of Japan’s most prevalent boxing stars with Naoya (26-0, 23 KO’s) and Takuma Inoue (19-1, 5 KO’s), in particular, forming the backbone of the event. Luis Nery (35-1, 27 KO’s), who is largely considered a top contender within the super bantamweight division, will be fighting in his first world title fight since losing in a unification bout against Brandon Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KO’s) in 2021.

As a former world champion, Nery’s reign was cut short following the acclimation of the WBC super bantamweight title in 2020 after losing to Figueroa a year later, but the Mexican contender has gone on a four-match winning streak since his loss, and has stopped or knocked out three of his last opponents in the process.

Inoue himself is in fine form following the second undisputed victory of his career in which he won all the super bantamweight world titles after unifying his WBC and WBO titles against Filipino former world champion Marlon Tapales (37-4, 19 KO’s)―who had been in possession of the WBA and IBF titles―on December 26th, last year.

The two 122-pounders are set to clash in another significant fight in the division with all of Inoue’s titles on the line to win for one-time world champion Luis Nery. The fight be considered a mandatory defense by Inoue mandatory defense as Nery had been confirmed to be the WBC super bantamweight mandatory challenger since November of last year, and is currently also considered the #1 contender on the WBC’s ranking boards.

In the division below, Takuma Inoue will be defending his WBA bantamweight title against #1-rated WBA 118 lbs contender Sho Ishida (34-3, 17 KO’s) who has previously never fought for a world title. Despite having suffered three losses in his career, Ishida has been on a tear since last losing by split-decision (SD) in 2021 to current WBO bantamweight champion Kosei Tanaka (20-1 11 KO’s).

The match-up favors Takuma Inoue with Sho Ishida having a spotty streak when it comes to twelve-round fights, currently standing at a record of 1-2 with his only win in a twelve-round bout concerning a narrow split-decision win.

In the same division, Jason Moloney (27-2, 19 KO’s) will make his Japanese debut against the undefeated former kickboxer Yoshiki Takei (8-0, 8 KO’s), and will be defending his WBO bantamweight title for the second time since winning it in May of 2023 by defeating Filipino contender Vincent Astrolabio (19-4, 14 KO’s) when they vied for the then-vacant WBO belt.

Despite Moloney’s experience as a pro outweighing Takei’s by at least three to one, Takei’s 100&% KO ratio appears to be a great equalizer to his lack of experience, allowing for an intriguing match as Takei steps into his first world title fight while Moloney has challenged for a world title several times before and has stepped into the ring with several renowned fighters including Naoya Inoue himself.

Lastly, the flyweight title bout between WBA champion Seigo Yuri Akui (19-2-1, 11 KO’s) and Taku Kuwahara (13-1, 8 KO’s) will also be a match of high interest. Kuwahara will be competing in his first-ever world title fight, while Akui himself is relatively new to being the “top dog”, having only recently become a world champion after defeating long-reigning Ukrainian Artem Dalakian (22-1, 15 KO’s) in January―becoming the first boxer to defeat Dalakian who had previously been undefeated..