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'Monster' Inoue to make US debut in unification clash with fellow three-weight world champion

The Japanese star will face Johnriel Casemiro of the Philippines at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, on 25 April.

POUND-FOR-POUND contender Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue will make his US debut on 25 April when he faces fellow three-weight world champion Johnriel Casemiro in a bantamweight unification clash at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas.

It will be rising star Inoue’s first fight since signing a promotional deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, and also a first since his victorious Ring Magazine Fight of the Year with future Hall-of-Famer Nonito Donaire in last year’s World Boxing Super Series bantamweight final.

Japan’s Inoue [19-0, 16KOs] holds the WBA and IBF titles at 118 pounds, while Filipino Casemiro [29-4, 20KOs] is currently the WBO beltholder at the weight.

Inoue, 26, won his first title in only his sixth pro fight, knocking out Adrian Hernandez to win the WBC light-flyweight crown. He is 14-0 in world-title bouts with 12 of those wins quick. Casemiro, meanwhile, is 7-0(4KOs) in fights where global honours were on the line.

“The Monster is coming to Las Vegas and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “He is a generational talent, a fierce competitor who is ready to take the United States by storm. Casimero is a seasoned champion, and Inoue knows he’s in for a firefight at Mandalay Bay.”

Inoue said: “It is a tremendous honour and a dream come true to headline a card in Las Vegas against a great fighter like Casimero. It is my goal to be the undisputed bantamweight king, and I am coming to America to put on a great fight for the fans.”

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Added Casemiro: “This is my dream fight. I have travelled the world and fought in 10 countries. I’ve won world titles at 108, 112 and 118 pounds. But ever since I saw my hero and fellow countryman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, fight in Las Vegas, that has been my dream. To everyone who thinks I am the underdog on 25 April, I will shock the world and show the fans who the real ‘Monster’ is in the ring.”

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Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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