The Beltline: Naoya Inoue can fight whenever he wants and wherever he wants

By Elliot Worsell

From time to time, we all find ourselves just saying stuff. Things that seem right in the moment but upon reflection, may not be as wise or thoughtful as initially believed. It’s easy to fall into clichés rather than offering considered thoughts.

Last week, Shawn Porter working for ProBox TV, suggested that Naoya Inoue of Japan needs to prove something to him and other Americans by fighting in America. This comment stirred up some controversy, especially considering Inoue’s upcoming title defense in Japan’s Tokyo Dome, which is expected to sell out with a capacity of 55,000.

Porter questioned Inoue’s goals and suggested that to be a star in boxing, he needs to come to the United States and face American opponents. While there is validity in Porter’s desire to see more of Inoue on American soil, the statement has become somewhat cliché in boxing circles.

Inoue stops Stephen Fulton (Getty Images)

While there was a time when America was the center of the boxing universe, the landscape has shifted, and fighters like Inoue prefer fighting in their home countries where they can attract large crowds. The idea of making it in America may not hold the same appeal for fighters outside of heavyweights and has become somewhat outdated.

For fighters in lower weight classes like Inoue, fighting at home has been the norm. Many of the best boxers from smaller weight classes have found success in Asia where they have strong support from fans. The focus on making it in America may not be as critical for these fighters who are more interested in showcasing their skills to their loyal fan base.

Naoya Inoue with some of his belts

Inoue, like many before him, has found success in his home country and has drawn massive crowds due to his skills and popularity among purists. While the idea of becoming a boxing star in America may be appealing to some, fighters like Inoue have thrived by staying true to their roots.

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