Home Boxing News Negotiations underway to bring Naoya Inoue to Australia to face Sam Goodman...

Negotiations underway to bring Naoya Inoue to Australia to face Sam Goodman later this year

Naoya Inoue (right) with Bob Arum

An ambitious plan is underway to lure undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 26-0 (23) to Australia to face his mandatory contender Sam ‘The Ghost’ Goodman 17-0 (7).

Japan’s Inoue, 30, holds the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine world championships at 122-pounds and will face Mexican southpaw Luis ‘Pantera’ Nery 35-1 (27) in his next bout at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan on May 6

The 25-year-old Goodman from Albion Park in Australia is listed as the number one challenger in the weight class by both the IBF and WBO.

His next assignment is against Mark Schleibs 13-2 (9) at the WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong, Australia on March 13.

Goodman’s promoter George Rose says talks are already underway with Inoue’s US co-promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank to bring the fight to the challenger’s homeland.

“This would be a huge coup for not only Australian boxing, but Australian sport,” the CEO of No Limit Boxing told Fox Sports Australia.

“Inoue is a once-in-a-generation fighter and in my opinion, the world’s number pound-for-pound. When you look at his records, his world titles, all of the achievements – it’s phenomenal.

“It’s why the guy is packing out stadiums in Japan, why he has such a huge following globally and why whenever he takes a world title fight, it’s something the whole world tunes in for.

“The aura he has at the moment, the fighter you compare him to is [Manny] Pacquaio.

“Because it doesn’t matter if you’re from the Philippines or not, if you’re a boxing fan you’re a Manny fan. Same with Inoue.

“So this next fight is suddenly a huge risk. Because if Sammy loses to Schleibs, he loses everything. But like Tim Tszyu, he wants to keep fighting and always stay ready.

“Sam Goodman’s a competitor. Has been since the amateurs. And that’s why while almost everyone is running from Inoue and the monster he’s become in the sport globally, Sammy Goodman is running towards him. Going at him head on.

“This is the fight Sam wants and one we want in Australia.”

If Inoue does accept a deal to head Down Under, it would be the biggest international fight on these shores since Filipino legend Pacquiao made an ill-fated trip to defend his WBO welterweight title against Jeff Horn in Brisbane seven years ago.

Inoue has already flagged his plans to stay at bantamweight for the next year at least and wants to fight three times in that timeframe. One of those fights will need to be against Goodman is he wants to retain all four of his sanctioning body belts.

“When you look at the opponents Inoue has had lately, Sammy is very different. And that’s why he can be the one who takes it to the champ, who upsets the apple cart,” Rose said.

“Because Sammy Goodman is a guy who can’t be hit. He’s always in front of you, but the guy can’t be hit.

“And that’s why he is pursuing this fight so confidently.”