Nordine Oubaali wants to unify titles with “over-hyped” Naoya Inoue

Anthony Cocks

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WBC bantamweight champion Nordine Oubaali 17-0 (12) has labelled IBF and WBA 118-pound champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 19-0 (16) “over-hyped” and says he would like to fight him “the sooner, the better”.

Oubaali made the second defence of his title against Inoue’s younger brother Takuma on the undercard of the World Boxing Super Series final between the Japanese superstar and Nonito Donaire in Japan last Thursday.

“Of course, I am happy that I won clearly as it naturally is a big challenge defending your belt in the opponent’s home country,” said the 33-year-old French southpaw to Fightnews.

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“It was not an easy fight because Takuma came in very motivated. We fought in front of 20,000 of his fans so he gave a 110% performance.

“Me, on the other hand, I felt not at my best for a number of reasons. We have however identified the weak points and surely my next performance will be even better.”

Oubaali said he wasn’t surprised by the competitiveness of the Inoue-Donaire fight.

“I watched Naoya’s fight from my locker room and the fight pretty much went the way I expected it,” he said.

“Nonito did very well and he exposed the weaknesses of Naoya. Nonito almost KO’d Naoya at some point and I think the Nonito of a couple of years ago would have done the job.

“Naoya is a good fighter that deserves respect but that’s it, not more and not less. If and when I fight him, I will beat him.

“Naoya Inoue called me out after I beat and dropped his brother in front of him and his fans.

“I like Japan so I don’t want to take away their hero from them, but I also want his WBA and IBF belts so let’s do it! Anytime, anywhere!”

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