Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery Fight Prediction, Odds, Undercard, Start Time, Expert Picks, Live Stream

CBS Sports’ No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer returns to the ring Monday when Naoya Inoue defends his status as undisputed junior featherweight champion against Luis Nery. Inoue vs. Nery sits atop a stacked card that constitutes the first boxing event to take place at the Tokyo Dome since James “Buster” Douglas’ historic upset of Mike Tyson in 1990.

Inoue became one of the most dominant forces in boxing, with his record of 26-0 and 23 victories by knockout. Inoue has won titles at junior flyweight, junior bantamweight, bantamweight and now junior featherweight, remaining unchallenged at the latter two weights.

Inoue spent his 2023 conquering junior featherweight in just two fights. In July, Inoue faced WBO and WBC champion Stephen Fulton in a highly anticipated fight to beat Fulton before scoring the stoppage in the eighth round. That set up a December showdown with IBF and WBA champion Marlon Tapales, winning the fight with a 10th round stoppage.

“This is, I think, the biggest and most important boxing event in Japanese history,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said this week. “After so many years since Mike Tyson and Buster Douglas fought at Tokyo Dome, boxing returns to this famous and huge Tokyo stadium for this event.

“The challenger, Nery, is a familiar face here in Japan, and he is one of the best fighters in the world in the lightweight division. Like all Mexican fighters, he is a warrior who will come here Monday night to do his best to emerge victorious from the fight.

Nery is an intriguing opponent based on his history in Japan. After Nery stopped Shinsuke Yamanaka in a 2017 fight in Japan to win the WBC bantamweight title, it was announced that Nery had failed a drug test. The title went to Yamanaka, but the fight result ultimately stood as the test failure was determined to be the result of contaminated food.

Nery then rematched Yamanaka two fights later, this time scoring a second-round TKO. Nery was yet to win the WBC title as he had lost three pounds of weight. As a result, the Japanese boxing commission suspended Nery from ever fighting in the country again.

That ban was overturned when Inoue began targeting a fight with Nery and means the already pro-Inoue crowd will be even more eager to cheer for Nery, who twice stopped a Japanese fan favorite under questionable circumstances.

The rest of the card is loaded with world title matchups. Jason Moloney will defend the WBO bantamweight championship against Yoshiki Takei. Moloney, the 33-year-old Australian native, has won six straight since a 2020 TKO loss to Inoue. Moloney won the WBO title in two fights with a majority decision victory over Vincent Astrolabio in May 2023. He retained his crown with another majority decision over Saul Sanchez in January.

“I’ve had an incredible preparation and I’m in the best condition of my career,” Moloney said this week. “I am very excited to be part of this historic event and I am so well prepared to deliver an incredible fight. I am ready to defend my title.

“Every time I step into the ring I give it my all and I plan to give the fans an exciting fight on Monday night. Takei is fighting to become world champion, but I’m in the best shape of my career and ready to do it. achieved the best performance of my career.

Let’s take a closer look at the rest of the undercard with the latest odds before moving on to a prediction and expert pick on the main event below.

Inoue vs. Nery fight card, odds

Noaya Inoué (c) -1200

Luis Néry +700

Undisputed super bantamweight title

Jason Moloney (c) -200

Yoshiki Takei +160

WBO bantamweight title

Seigo Yuri Akui (c)

Taku Kuwahara

WBA flyweight title

Takuma Inoue (c) -700

Sho Ishida +500

WBA bantamweight title


Nery is a solid fighter. He faced talented opposition and had to fight, like his February 2023 thriller with Azat Hovhannisyan. That said, Inoue is a different animal than anyone else in boxing. Inoue is a relentless fighter who not only possesses tremendous knockout power, but has real boxing skills.

Inoue is a near-perfect fighter, the kind of “monster” you would create in a laboratory to dominate the boxing world. Yes, he’s a -1200 favorite, but that would be the case against virtually any available opponent. Inoue is so good. Nery’s return to Japan after his suspension should almost be seen as a punishment given what Inoue is capable of doing to him. Pick: Naoya Inoue via TKO8

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