Naoya Inoue has stated that he wants to fight Paul Butler next for the Undisputed World Bantamweight Championship. However, he claimed that negotiations still need to continue for both teams to come to an agreement. Inoue currently holds the WBC, WBA and IBF titles, while Putler has the remaining WBO belt.
Inoue is coming off a spectacular performance in a rematch against Nonito Donaire back on June 7 at the Super Arena in Saitama. Despite going to the cards in their first bout, The 'Monster' dropped Nonaire twice and stopped him in the second round of their rematch.
Watch the fight highlights between Inoue and Donaire 2:
Here's what Inoue said, according to a post by Michael Benson:
"My aim this year is to win the fourth belt… My gym is still in negotiations over the Butler fight and things are moving in the right direction, although I don't think the details have been worked out."
Inoue is widely considered to be one of the best boxers in the world and is currently ranked as the number one pound-for-pound fighter by Ring Magazine. If the Japanese superstar becomes an undisputed champion, this will cement his legacy and potentially force him to move up in weight for new challenges.
Paul Butler is open to fighting Naoya Inoue
Following Naoya Inoue's win over Donaire, Butler made it very clear that he wants to share the ring with the 'Monster.'
Here's what Butler said in an interview with iFL TV:
"I've come into the sport and I've wanted to become a world champion. When you achieve your goal you set yourself another goal and mine was to unify the division...Very small minority of boxers win world titles, not many get to box for undisputed. I'd be daft to not take that one night."
Watch the full interview:
With both Inoue and Butler wanting the fight, it is plausible that the bout could be scheduled for late 2022 or early 2023.
The 'Baby Faced Assassin' is on an eight-fight winning streak and defeated Jonas Sultan back in April via decision. Regardless, the Brit will be the overwhelming underdog going into the contest.
The pair share a common opponent, Emmanuel Rodriguez, who Inoue knocked out in the 2nd round back in 2019. Butler, on the other hand, lost to Rodriugez in 2018 on points.