By Steve Kim
WBO super flyweight titlist, Naoya Inoue (13-0, 11 KO's) comes in with a fearsome reputation and he makes his American debut on September 9th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California as part of the 'SuperFly' card that will be televised on HBO.
His opponent that night is Antonio Nieves (17-1-2/9 KO's) who prior to getting this assignment knew nothing about 'the Monster' from Japan.
"None, none whatsoever,'' admitted Nieves, asked just how much knowledge he had of the defending champion ."I really didn't know much about him till they offered me the fight."
At a media gathering to promote this fight on Saturday he admitted - "I have recently seen videos of him and he's a great fighter, strong at the weight. He's solid."
Nieves is coming of a disputed split decision loss to Nikolai Potapov on March 10th. Regardless, he was still offered this opportunity to face one of the most highly touted boxers in the smaller weight classes.
"I think it was easy (to accept the fight), there's many kids around the world that dedicate their entire lives to the sport that are never given the chance to fight for the world title and when it was provided to us, I thought it was one of the biggest opportunities that presented itself to Antonio's career," said Timothy Van Newhouse, his manager.
There's no doubt that Nieves is a sizable underdog. So how does he pull off the upset?
"I'm going to take him to a place he hasn't been in," stated the 30-year old from Cleveland, Ohio. "He's been comfortable his whole career, he's been able to do whatever he wants and September 9th I'm not going to let him do that."
The card will also featured a WBC super flyweight eliminator between Carlos Cuadras and Juan Francisco Estrada, and the main event rematch between Roman Gonzalez and Srisikat Sor Rungvisai for the WBC super flyweight crown.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.