Bob Arum knows the numbers, has witnessed Japan’s adoration of its conquering boxing hero and sees no reason why Naoya Inoue needs to fight outside the country in the foreseeable future.

“It used to be that coming here to the U.S. was the best way to make the biggest money – it worked for Manny [Pacquiao] and [heavyweight champion Tyson] Fury,” Arum told BoxingScene Wednesday.

“This is a different actor – the biggest boxing star in a well-to-do-country.”

Two-time undisputed champion Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) will return to the ring May 6 (a Monday morning U.S. time) when he meets former champion Luis Nery (35-1, 27 KOs) in defense of Inoue’s undisputed junior featherweight title.

The bout will take place at the 55,000-seat-capacity Tokyo Dome – where Mike Tyson was upset by Buster Douglas – and Arum said the live-gate sales have already exceeded $20 million with television rights fees still to be calculated.

Last week on ProBox TV’s “Deep Waters,” analyst and former welterweight champion Shawn Porter said, “We really don’t know what Inoue’s goals are  – are his goals to be the star of boxing? If his goal is to be the star in boxing, you got to come to the United States.”

Inoue responded, “The home of the [lower weights] is now here in Japan. If there is something better than what is available in the Japanese market in America, I would be happy to go.”

Inoue made two pandemic-era U.S. appearances at the Top Rank Bubble and Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, but Arum says in the current landscape “there’s no way he could approach what he makes in Japan. Why come here and take a step back when there’s such a tremendous market for you in Japan?”

Previous junior featherweight titlehollders Stephen Fulton of Philadelphia and Marlon Tapales trekked to Japan to fight Inoue before Nery.

“There’s nobody even close in those divisions [near Inoue’s weight class] who could make a fight bigger than what he can do in Japan,” Arum said. “This is completely different than Manny coming from the Philippines at a time where he couldn’t have fought anywhere and made more than $50,000. Fighting here did make him a global superstar.

“For Inoue, it’s the exact opposite – although fighting in Japan creates a challenging road trip for his foes. Their purses ease the discomfort.

“Their tongues are wagging out for an invitation,” Arum said.

“Shawn’s a good guy, but what he’s talking about [coming to America], that’s old-school.”

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