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Dasmariñas revs up for Inoue

Nick Giongco



Negotiations are underway for Michael Dasmariñas to get a coveted shot at Naoya Inoue’s twin world bantamweight titles in March or April of 2021, according to the Filipino mandatory challenger’s official representative.

MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons said Dasmariñas is eager to get it on with the unbeaten Japanese who is regarded as one of the world’s top fighters pound for pound.

“We are in talks for that fight to happen next year,” Gibbons said.

Dasmariñas, 28, (30-2-1 with 21 KOs) is in training mode in La Union, making sure that he remains in shape in case Gibbons gets confirmation that a fight with Inoue, 27, (20-0 with 17 KOs) is a done deal.

Inoue, who holds the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation (IBF) 118-lb crowns is coming off a vicious seventh-round knockout of Jason Moloney of Australia.

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, which has Inoue under contract, is excited to showcase the hard-hitting Inoue anew given his rising popularity.

But Dasmariñas’ camp insists Inoue has to fulfill his obligation with the IBF and defend against the rugged contender from Bicol nicknamed ‘Hot and Spicy.’

Dubbed as “The Monster,” Inoue was supposed to lock horns with John Riel Casimero last April but the mouth-watering matchup was scrapped owing to the COVID-19 lockdown that began in March.

While Inoue fights under Top Rank, his main promoter is Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions, a longtime friend of Arum.