Undisputed super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue could be fighting next in September at Wembley Stadium in London. His Excellency Turki Alalshikh has a card that is in the planning stage for September 21/22 in London with Anthony Joshua in the main event.

The Trade-Off: Undercard Status, But Big Payday

If Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs) fought on the card, he would play second fiddle to the superstar Joshua, but the money would likely make it well worth it for the 31-year-old Japanese star.

There’s no word yet whether Inoue will agree to fight on His Excellency’s card in London. Inoue has only fought three times outside of his native Japan during his 12-year pro career, and he might not be willing to fight in London on an undercard.

Inoue invited his #1 IBF, #1 WBO super bantamweight contender Sam Goodman (18-0, 8 KOs) into the ring last Monday night to let fans know that he’s next for him after his sixth-round knockout victory over Luis Nery.

Goodman is a capable, blue-collar fighter who will try his best. He’ll give Inoue a couple of rounds before he’s knocked out. He’s not talented enough to create much buzz.

Criticism for Staying Safe

Naoya has been criticized by fans for his reluctance to move up to the featherweight division to fight the talented fighters in that weight class who could give him a run for his money and test his chin more than Luis Nery did. Some fans think Inoue is afraid of what could happen to him at 126, which would ruin the popularity that he’s built up during his career in Japan.

Inoue has done a good job of becoming a star in Japan, but for him to transition to superstar status outside of his own country, he’ll need to fight elsewhere, like the U.S. or UK, and against better opposition than the fighters he’s been facing up until now.

To make that transition to mega-star outside of the safety of Japan, Inoue is going to need to fight in the U.S against the killers that are leagues above the Milquetoast opposition he’s been fighting.

Inoue’s best wins:

– Luis Nery: Previously knocked out by Brandon Figuera
– Nonito Donaire: 40-years-old
– Jason Moloney: Already beaten by Emmanuel Rodriguez
– Stephen Fulton: No power
– Marlon Tapales: Previously knocked out by Ryosuke Iwasa

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