WBO #1 Jr. Featherweight contender Ra'eese "The Beast" Aleem (20-0, 12 KOs), who views himself as one of the most avoided men in boxing, wants to welcome the undisputed bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue (24-0, 12 KOs), better known by his nickname "The Monster" to the 122 lbs. division.
"I would love to be the first man to hand Naoya Inoue his first loss," said Aleem. "I believe Inoue is a true champion, one who is willing to take on all comers, unlike some of the champions in my division currently. He is regarded as one of the best fighters of his era, and I truly see myself as the man to dethrone him."
Aleem fought only once in 2022, defeating Mike Plania (27-2, 14 KOs) on the FS1 prelim of Andy Ruiz vs Luis Ortiz. His lack of activity was not entirely his fault, as the division as a whole was at a standstill with both unified champions only fighting once, as well.
"We want this fight as soon as possible against 'The Monster'," said Greg Hannley, Aleem's manager and CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. "All good things have to come to an end, and Aleem is ready to become a legend, and to do that he must beat one. We're ready to talk. This is a very makeable fight. Let's give the fans the fight they want to see."
For Aleem 2022 was a bit frustrating as despite being one of the best fighters in the division, he couldn't land the big fight that he deserves.
"It is frustrating as time isn't on my side, and I am looking to get the most out of my career - and these fighters have been avoiding me leading to severe droughts in my ability to display my skills in the ring," concluded Aleem. "I am the only fighter who is calling out Inoue. Everyone else is scared. What is scarier, 'A monster' or 'A beast'? Let's put both of our undefeated records on the line and see!”
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