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Goodman emerges as likely choice for Inoue's next fight


Australia’s Sam Goodman appears on track to face Japanese wrecking machine Naoya Inoue later this year.

Inoue improved to 27-0 (24 KOs) with a sixth-round stoppage victory over Luis Nery in front of a packed Tokyo Dome on Monday.

The win saw “The Monster” retain all four belts at super bantamweight and cemented his status in the eyes of many as the number one pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.

MORE: Naoya Inoue is pound-for-pound number one: Move over Bud Crawford, The Monster is king

After a shock knockdown in the first round, Inoue bounced back in style, dropping Nery with left hooks of his own in the second and fifth before a short right hand finished the job in the sixth.

Goodman, who is rated the number one contender at 122-pounds with the WBO and IBF, faced off with Inoue in the ring immediately after the bout.

“I would love to go into the negotiations to fight against Sam Goodman in September,” Inoue told the adoring crowd.

“I’ve been mandatory for over a year, either give up the belts, or fight me,” Goodman responded. “Let’s get it on,” before the pair shook hands.

Speaking shortly afterwards, the undefeated 25-year-old said he can see a path to victory against the two-weight undisputed champion.

“I’ve seen enough in the fight to know that I can do what I need to do to win that fight,” Goodman said.

“I’ve been saying it for how long? I want world titles, he’s got them all, I’ve got to fight him.

“I’ve got to box my best but I believe if I can do it, I can beat this man

“Everyone’s human. At any given moment, anyone can beat anyone.

“It’s up to me to box the perfect fight and to really put it on him. I’ve seen plenty in there to show that I can really push this guy and, not just push him, beat him.”

Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who promotes Inoue, was also captured speaking with Goodman, seemingly confirming that all parties were interested in making the fight happen.

“We have your numbers and everything, Top Rank, we’re looking to do a big fight for [Inoue] in September or October,” Arum told Goodman.

There’s no doubt Goodman would go into the bout as a significant underdog.

Inoue, 31, was dropped for the first time in his career on Monday but looked better than ever over the next five rounds.

With knockout wins over the likes of Nery, Marlon Tapales, Stephen Fulton, Paul Butler, Nonito Donaire, Jason Moloney, Manny Rodriguez and Jamie McDonell, his resume is arguably the strongest in the sport.

Goodman, 18-0, fought his way to title contention with victories over TJ Doheny and Ra’eese Aleem but, as he acknowledged, would need the box the perfect fight to knock off Inoue.

“It’s exciting and it just goes to show it’s possible,” said Goodman regarding his post-fight exchange with the champion.

“He’s obviously been eyeing me off as well for some time. 

“I’m on his radar, of course he’s on mine, he’s got all the belts. Let’s get it on.”

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