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'Monster' Inoue vows to deliver boxing master class

Naoya Inoue trains at Ohashi Gym in Yokohama on Dec. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Ohashi Gym/Kyodo)

YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) -- Japanese bantamweight Naoya "Monster" Inoue on Wednesday promised a rare display of boxing quality in next week's title unification bout, where he'll seek to add the WBO belt Britain's Paul Butler holds to his own WBA, WBC and IBF crowns.

    "At last, I'm primed and ready to go," Inoue told the media ahead of Tuesday's fight at Tokyo's Ariake Arena. "I want to produce an overwhelming victory."

    A win would make the 29-year-old Inoue the first Japanese to own world championships from four sanctioning bodies.

    Since returning to Japan in September from training in Los Angeles, Inoue has put in 110 rounds of sparring, preparing extensively for an opponent with superb footwork.

    "I think I'm going to show the kind of high-quality technical boxing that hasn't been seen for a while," said Inoue, who has his eyes firmly fixed on a move up in weight class.

    "I think this might be my last fight as a bantamweight, and I'm driven by a desire I've never felt before."

    "I need to state my case for a switch to super bantam."

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