TOKYO – Promoter Bob Arum said he feel nervous ahead of Naoya Inoue’s big night at the Tokyo Dome against Luis Nery.

Thirty-four years ago, James “Buster” Douglas toppled the then-unbeaten heavyweight monster Mike Tyson inside the same venue, but it is not the parallel with the undefeated “Monster” Inoue that has Arum concerned. 

“That has absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the fight,” Arum said. “I’m nervous because Nery is a good banger, he’s a Mexican and they come to fight so anything can happen. But because Tyson lost that that’s a bad omen for Inoue? I never get involved in that type of conjecture.”

Arum was also quick to put the brakes on where Inoue’s future lies in regards to weight classes. There is speculation about where Inoue might go, should he successfully defend his undisputed super bantamweight title against the Mexican challenger, and how he might be able to go up in weight and still impress. 

“One step at a time,” Arum urged. “I know in talking with the management that he’s going to stay at 122 for the rest of the year. What he does next year, whether he goes up or not, is not a decision that I’ll be making, it’s a decision that he and his management have to make.

“Look, he started so much below and he’s risen in weight all through these divisions. Can he go to 126? Probably. But he’ll be giving away a lot of size at that level at 126, but I think we’ll see him at 126 maybe next year.”

The four-weight world champion, who has unified in two divisions, is 26-0 (23 KOs) and big things are expected on Monday (May 6) night. Arum certainly hopes so, and he has no hesitation and saying what makes Inoue such a special talent.

“He’s special because he’s a very very good boxer, but he is the most devastating puncher that we’ve ever seen as far as fighters in this lightweight division,” Arum said. “In other words, we’ve had great fighters in those divisions, but if you look at their records, generally an overwhelming number of their victories came as a result of decisions. With Inoue, he leaves no doubt because how can there be a doubt of an outcome of a fight when his opponent is counted out. That makes him extraordinarily exciting.”

Arum has been involved in boxing since the 1960s and has promoted a who’s who of the sport, from Oscar De La Hoya to Muhammad Ali, from Marvin Hagler to Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns to Manny Pacquiao. What does Inoue need to do to crack Arum’s top five as the best he’s promoted?

“I think he’s already in the top five,” Arum concluded. “Ali, Hagler… He [Inoue]’s been so overwhelmingly good that he’s certainly within the top five.”