Naoya Inoue REJECTS WBC Diamond title in the ring, signs for Top Rank


Newly-crowned unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue has seemingly joined the ongoing debate about the state of the current world titles in boxing.

After duking it out with an amazing warrior in Nonito Donaire on Thursday, Inoue took the Ali Trophy via unanimous decision.

In the aftermath, Inoue was offered the WBA strap Donaire previously held, which he grabbed with both hands.

Seconds later, Kalle Sauerland attempted to give the ‘Monster’ the WBC’s Diamond strap, which was also on the line. Inoue immediately rejected the offer.

Instead, Inoue grasped the Ring Magazine championship and his own IBF version before posing for photographs with his new trophy.

It does seem to be a slap in the face for the World Boxing Council. The snub follows criticism levelled at the organization over their Franchise status.

Canelo and Vasyl Lomachenko were recently elevated to Franchise Champions in a move that has led to considerable confusion.

Subsequently, the WBC has since been blasted by fans on social media for the variety of belts handed out of the last few years.

Devin Haney and Jermall Charlo were both given titles they didn’t win inside the ropes. The situation is something which has been a bone of contention for a large portion of the boxing community.

‘Real’ WBC bantamweight ruler Nordine Oubaali actually defended his crown on the night when defeating Inoue’s younger brother Takuma.


It’s also been confirmed that Inoue has signed for Top Rank since the victory.

A press release just minutes after the final bell stated:

WBA/IBF bantamweight world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue, a 5-foot-4½ three-weight world champion who has climbed the pound-for-pound rankings with devastating knockouts against normally iron-chinned foes, is coming to America.

Inoue has signed a multi-year promotional agreement with Top Rank. The company will co-promote his bouts with Ohashi Promotions on the ESPN family of networks.

His first fight under this new, landmark agreement will take place in the United States in early 2020.

The 26-year-old Inoue is coming off a thrilling unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire earlier today in the championship of the World Boxing Super Series.