It won’t be the homecoming he wanted, but unified bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue will indeed face IBF mandatory challenger Michael Dasmarinas in his next defense. Bob Arum tells The Ring that due to Japan’s mandatory two-week quarantine procedures, the fight will take place June 19th in Las Vegas, ideally with “at least a limited number of spectators”
Dasmarinas (30-2-1, 20 KO) first got the call in December 2019 immediately following Inoue’s (20-0, 17 KO) successful war with Nonito Donaire, only for a planned unification match with WBO champ John Riel Casimero and the COVID epidemic to push him back in the queue. As mentioned before, he boasts a one-punch knockout of Karim Guerfi and defeated countryman Kenny Demecillo to claim mandatory status.
He hasn’t fought since October 2019, while Inoue smashed Jason Moloney this past Halloween.
Arum says he thinks Inoue’s “going to go up in weight” afterwards, though he does raise the possibility of unification with either Casimero or the winner of Nordine Oubaali’s still-pending WBC title defense against Donaire. Of the three, Arum names Oubaali as the easiest fight to put together due to the Frenchman’s advisor and French promoter being “close” to Top Rank.