Junior featherweight undisputed champion Naoya "The Monster" Inoue, widely regarded as the one of the best fighters in the sport, is now facing the question: What’s next for the dominant champion?

Inoue was in New York City to receive his award as Fighter of the Year from the Boxing Writers Association of America. He later attended Saturday night's bout at Madison Square Garden Theater and was interviewed by Mark Kriegel on the ESPN telecast.

Inoue (27-0, 24 KOs), 31, became an undisputed champion at bantamweight and junior featherweight in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The four-weight titleholder has demonstrated his power across each division he has entered. When asked who he considers the best fighter in the world, he responded:

“For me, it is important for me to recognize myself as the best,” Inoue said via a translator. “The [Terence] Crawford-[Errol] Spence fight is something I was impressed with.”

Fans eagerly await Inoue's potential move to another division—featherweight. After Bruce Carrington stopped Brayan de Gracia on Saturday night, he acknowledged Inoue. Luis Alberto Lopez, the IBF boss, has also called him out. Though Inoue has already defeated the top contenders at junior featherweight, no timeline for a move to featherweight has been set.

“When I am ready to go up in weight and when my body is ready,” Inoue said when explaining when and if he will rise in weight again.

Another potential matchup discussed was a future fight with three-division Japanese titleholder Junto Nakatani (27-0, 20 KOs), 26, who recently claimed the WBC bantamweight title by knocking out Alexandro Santiago.

“He is already a good fighter,” Inoue said of Nakatani. “In the future, it would be nice to look forward to fighting him.”

Inoue last fought in May, stopping Luis Nery in the sixth round via technical knockout after getting up from a shock knockdown in the opening session.