Jamie McDonnell v Naoya Inoue possible for Japan, says Eddie Hearn

Promoter Eddie Hearn in planning a massive challenge for Jamie McDonnell as a trip to Japan looks on the cards for the Yorkshireman.

Hearn revealed talks are ongoing for McDonnell to defend his WBA bantamweight belt against the ‘Monster’ Naoya Inoue in the coming months.

Inoue, the 2014 WBN Young Fighter of the Year, has been mightily impressive since claiming a first world title that year in just his sixth pro fight.

Since then, the 24 year-old embarked on a reign of terror at super-flyweight, having stopped eight of his last nine opponents.

The Japanese star is now plotting a similar path at the bantamweight limit and Hearn is ready to seize the opportunity for McDonnell, who is big at the weight, to test Inoue at the higher limit.

“Jamie originally planned to move up after the Liborio Solis fight but this is a huge fight and he loves the idea of the challenge,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Inoue has looked devastating at super-fly and it’s a tough fight for Jamie, but he wants to test himself against the very best out there.

“I’m hoping we can close this week,” he added.

McDonnell has seen his career stall with a mandatory situation opposite Liborio Solis taking an age to complete, although the Doncaster man is now ready to take on the world’s best.

Securing Inoue in the UK may have been an easier route for Hearn and McDonnell to take, but the former unified ruler has never been one to take the simpler option.

More to come on this story as it develops in the coming days.