Top Rank boss Bob Arum wasted no time in snapping up the considerable talents of World Boxing Super Series champion Naoya Inoue.
In fact, the Chairman ordered the signed BEFORE Inoue engaged in a super-fight war with Nonito Donaire during ‘The Drama in Saitama’.
Inoue traded blow-for-blow with multi-weight legend Donaire for the duration, eventually coming out on top after twelve bloody rounds.
Soon after, it was made official that Arum now held the services of two out of the top three pound for pound stars.
The Japanese hero follows Vasyl Lomachenko is joining the high-profile promotional outfit and has a promise to match from Arum.
Upon signing Lomachenko after his second gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, Arum declared the Ukrainian would be an all-time great. And so it proved to be the case.
‘Loma’ is assured of a place in the Boxing Hall of Fame. Arum believes the same will be said of Inoue.
“Naoya Inoue is a generational talent, the sort of fighter who comes around once a decade,” outlined Arum.
“He is already a superstar in Japan (with numerous front covers of magazines), and he will be major star stateside in no time.
“You are looking at an all-time great who is entering the prime of what will be a historic career.”
Inoue is looking forward to what will be a crossover period in his career.
“It is a tremendous honor to sign with Top Rank and to showcase my talents on ESPN,” Inoue said. “I look forward to 2020. I’ve fought in America once before.
“I look forward to doing so again in the very near future.”
Hideyuki Ohashi, who looks after Inoue’s affairs in Japan, added: “I would like to thank Mr. Bob Arum and Mr. Todd duBoef. “ESPN is a tremendous platform for Naoya as he continues his career.”
Nicknamed ‘The Monster’, Inoue has already secured world titles in three weight classes. WBN’s Young Fighter of the Year for 2014, Inoue built a reputation as a fearsome puncher.
Having won the WBSS at bantamweight, it surely is just a matter of time before Inoue hits 122 pounds.
That would leave the 26 year-old just two weight classes away from Lomachenko himself, and what could prove to be a Fight of the Century event over the next two years.