This is a packed week — starting with Monday morning’s show emanating from Japan, which is one of at least eight boxing broadcasts this week. 

In total, there are eight title fights, including one for the undisputed men’s bantamweight championship, and another for the lineal women’s welterweight championship.

That means there’s a lot to cover. Let’s start with the big one:

Pick It: Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery

When to Watch: Monday, May 6 

How to watch: ESPN+, the main undercard begins at 4 a.m. Eastern Time / 9 a.m. BST. 

According to Top Rank, these are the anticipated ring walk times:

Main event: Inoue and Nery are expected to make their ring walks at approximately 7:35 a.m. ET.  

Chief support: Moloney vs. Takei ring walks are estimated for 6:25 a.m. ET/3:25 a.m. PT.

Why to Watch: One of the best fighters in the world is taking on one of his top remaining challengers.

Inoue has sat atop or near the top of pound-for-pound lists for years, impressing early as he won a world title at 108 pounds, jumped straight to 115 to knock off a longtime titleholder there, and showcased his skills and power in several title defenses in that division.

He was already a star in Japan and beloved by hardcore fan favorites. But where Inoue really began to cross over into greater awareness was during his run at bantamweight. Inoue plowed through the weight class and made it look (mostly) easy.

His first two fights at 118 came against contenders Jamie McDonnell and Juan Carlos Payano. They were taken out in about three minutes combined. Inoue stopped Emmanuel Rodriguez in less than two rounds for a world title. He battled through a fractured orbital bone and a resurgent Nonito Donaire in 2019’s Fight of the Year for 2019, unifying with a second world title. 

A rematch with Inoue a little later went much easier. Inoue sent Donaire packing in two rounds and added a third world title. By the end of 2022, Inoue had become the undisputed champion, winning the fourth and final world title in the weight class with an 11th-round knockout of Paul Butler.

He wasn’t done.

Inoue moved up to 122 and went straight to the top junior featherweight, Stephen Fulton. A fight that many thought was going to be more competitive? It wasn’t. Inoue scored an eighth-round technical knockout and won two world titles. In his next fight, Inoue sent Marlon Tapales away before the final bell, picking up the remaining two world titles. Once again, he was undisputed, now in a second division.

The 31-year-old “Monster” from Yokohama is now 26-0 (23 KOs). And his work isn’t done now either.

He’s facing Luis Nery, a 29-year-old from Tijuana who is 35-1 (27 KOs).

Nery is a former two-division titleholder himself, though one of those title wins is tainted. Nery knocked out longtime titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka in the fourth round in 2017. But Nery tested positive for a banned substance. And the WBC, in its infinite wisdom (cough, cough), decided not to strip Nery of its belt.

Nery and Yamanaka had a rematch in 2018. Nery lost his title on the scales, coming in three pounds overweight. He knocked out Yamanaka again, this time in the second round, and was subsequently banned from fighting again in Japan, where both of those bouts had taken place. (That ban has been rescinded for this clash with Inoue.)

In 2020, Nery outpointed Aaron Alamada to win a vacant title at 122. He lost it in his next outing, stopped on a body shot in the seventh round of a competitive unification match with Brandon Figueroa in 2021.

Nery has won four straight since over Carlos Castro (SD10), David Carmona (KO3), Azat Hovhannisyan (KO11) in one of the best fights of 2023, and Froilan Saludar (TKO2).

This fight should be fun while it lasts. It’s absolutely worth waking up early for.

And it’s worth waking up even earlier for the televised undercard, which features three title fights:

Jason Moloney vs. Yoshiki Takei: Moloney, a 33-year-old from Australia, is a former Inoue victim, knocked out in the seventh round back in 2020. He’s won six straight since, picking up the WBO bantamweight belt (one of the four Inoue vacated) with a majority decision over Vincent Astrolabio in May 2023 and retaining it this past January with another majority decision, this one against Saul Sanchez. Moloney is 27-2 (19 KOs).

Takei, a 27-year-old from Japan, is 8-0 with 8 KOs. He’s mostly fought at or near the junior featherweight limit of 122 pounds but is moving down for this opportunity. Takei last fought in December, knocking out Mario Diaz Maldonado in two rounds.

Takuma Inoue vs. Sho Ishida: Takuma will defend his WBA bantamweight title — another belt left vacant when his older brother, Naoya, left the 118-pound division behind. The 28-year-old Takuma is 19-1 (5 KOs). He lost in his first title shot, dropping a unanimous decision to Nordine Oubaali in 2019. Takuma has notched six wins since (say that six times fast), outpointing Liborio Solis for the belt in April 2023 and scoring a KO9 over former 115-pound titleholder Jerwin Ancajas in February.

Ishida, a 32-year-old from Osaka, fell short in his only previous title challenge, losing a unanimous decision in 2017 to Khalid Yafai down in the 115-pound division. Two more blemishes have been added to his record since, both via split decision, bringing him to 34-3 (17 KOs). One came against Israel Gonzalez in 2019 (Gonzalez went on to face Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez) and the other against Kosei Tanaka in 2021 (Tanaka, a former three-division titleholder at the time, has since added a title in his fourth weight class).

Seigo Yuri Akui vs. Taku Kuwahara: Akui picked up the biggest win of his career, and the WBA flyweight title, in January when he outpointed longtime beltholder Artem Dalakian. That brought the 28-year-old from Kurashiki, Japan, to 19-2-1 (11 KOs). And it was a stunning resuscitation for Akui’s career given the setbacks he’d suffered years before: stoppage losses to future three-division titleholder Junto Nakatani in 2017 and a 17-8 foe named Jaysever Abcede in 2018. The victory over Dalakian was Akui’s seventh straight win.

Kuwahara was one of the people Akui defeated during that streak. Their first fight, held in 2021, was very close on the scorecards, with Akui slightly ahead entering the 10th and final round. They didn’t make it to the final bell. Akui stopped Kuwahara with 11 seconds to go. Kuwahara, a 29-year-old who calls Yokohama home, has won five in a row since to improve to 13-1 (8 KOs).

More Fights to Watch

Wednesday, May 8: Robbie Davies Jr. vs. Sergey Lipinets (, 8 p.m. Eastern Time)

(Note: is owned by ProBox.) 

This show in Plant City, Florida, is headlined by junior welterweights Davies and Lipinets. 

Davies, a 34-year-old from Liverpool, is 23-4 (15 KOs). He last fought in March 2023, when he was stopped in three rounds by Darragh Foley. 

Lipinets is a 35-year-old originally from Kazakhstan who now calls Southern California home. He briefly held a world title at 140 pounds, capturing a vacant belt in late 2017 and then dropping it four months later in a decision loss to Mikey Garcia. Lipinets then went up to welterweight for a spell, only to be sent packing after getting put away in six rounds by Jaron Ennis in April 2021. 

Since then he’s been back at junior welterweight, though his appearances came between two long layoffs: 16 months between the Ennis fight and a TKO8 win over Omar Figueroa in August 2022, and then 15 months until last November’s decision loss to Michel Rivera. Lipinets, now 17-3-1 (13 KOs), will only have been out of the ring for five months before this Wednesday’s match.

Saturday, May 11: George Kambosos Jr. vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko (ESPN and ESPN+, undercard begins at 10 p.m. Eastern Time)

Kambosos and Lomachenko are two of the last four men to stand atop the lightweight division. That recognition went from Lomachenko to Teofimo Lopez, from Lopez to Kambosos, and finally from Kambosos to Devin Haney. They’ll headline at the RAC Arena in Perth, performing in Kambosos’ home country of Australia.

Lomachenko won Olympic gold twice while representing Ukraine and went on to become a three-division world titleholder in the pros. The 36-year-old is now 17-3 (11 KOs). Following his 2020 loss to Lopez, Lomachenko took care of a shoulder injury he came into the fight with, stopped Masayoshi Nakatani, outpointed Richard Commey, won a decision in a competitive fight with Jamaine Ortiz, and then took on Haney in May 2023. Haney vs. Lomachenko was close, but the three judges favored Haney. When Haney moved up to 140, that left his four world titles available for those remaining at 135. 

This fight will be for the vacant IBF belt, one of the titles that Kambosos previously owned after he shocked Lopez in late 2021. Kambosos didn’t reign long. Haney flew to Australia twice in 2022, clearly outpointing Kambosos once to take the throne and then doing it again to defend it. Some felt Kambosos underwhelmed in his last appearance — a July majority decision over Maxi Hughes — and should’ve lost. That brought Kambosos, a 30-year-old from Sydney, to 21-2 (10 KOs).

The undercard includes a women’s bantamweight title fight between Nina Hughes and Cherneka Johnson, plus a clash between junior bantamweights Andrew Moloney and Pedro Guevara.

Hughes is a 41-year-old from Essex in the United Kingdom, and it might surprise you to learn that she’s 6-0 (2 KOs) rather than the owner of a lengthy pro record. Hughes was 25 when she first laced up the gloves in an exercise class, which led to an amateur career, then time away from the sport as she had a family, according to BBC Sport. Hughes turned pro at the end of 2021, defeated Jamie MItchell for the WBA belt a year later, and outpointed Jaime Healy last June.

Johnson is a 29-year-old originally from New Zealand and now fighting out of Melbourne. She is a former junior featherweight titleholder who captured a vacant belt in 2022 with a majority decision win over Melissa Esquivel, defended the title with a unanimous decision over Susie Ramadan, then lost it on points to Ellie Scotney last June on the same show as Hughes vs. Healy. That brought Johnson’s record to 15-2 (6 KOs).

Moloney vs. Guevara pits a former 115-pound contender vs. a former 108-pound titleholder. Moloney, a 33-year-old Australian, is fighting days after his twin brother, bantamweight titleholder Jason Moloney, performs on the Inoue-Nery undercard. Andrew is 26-3 (16 KOs) and may be best remembered for his trilogy with Joshua Franco from 2020-2021, when Andrew went 0-2 with one headbutt-shortened no contest. Andrew was also on the receiving end of one of 2023’s most picturesque knockouts, put down for the count by Junto Nakatani last May. Moloney came back in December with a points win over Judy Flores.

Guevara is a 34-year-old from Mexico who is 41-4-1 (22 KOs). He lost his first title shot way back in 2012 in a close decision to Johnriel Casimero but took out Akira Yaegashi in 2014 to win a belt at 108 pounds. His reign ended less than a year later. Since then, Guevara has come up short against a pair of notable names, dropping a majority decision to Kenshiro Teraji in 2017 and a split decision to Carlos Cuadras last November. He outpointed a designated opponent this past February.

Saturday, May 11: Jessica McCaskill vs. Lauren Price (Peacock, 2 p.m. Eastern Time / 7 p.m. BST)

These two things can be true: McCaskill is the lineal women’s welterweight champion. She also hasn’t won a fight in nearly two years.

McCaskill, a 39-year-old from Chicago, became the queen of the 147-pound division when she dethroned Cecilia Braekhus by majority decision in August 2020, then reaffirmed that win in their 2021 rematch with a wider victory on the scorecards. She added two more successful defenses, both via TKO.

In late 2022, McCaskill journeyed down to junior welterweight, where she’d previously competed and been a unified titleholder. Her opponent: Chantelle Cameron, who owned two world titles. The other two, each vacant, were also on the line. That meant the winner would become undisputed at 140.

McCaskil lost to Cameron via unanimous decision, and so she returned to 147 to defend her lineal championship and three remaining world titles against Sandy Ryan. McCaskill was able to retain her titles in a draw, but the decision was heavily debated and some believe it should’ve gone Ryan’s way.

McCaskill’s now 12-3-1 (5 KOs) and is down to just one sanctioning body belt. She hopes to reassert herself against Lauren Price, undefeated at 6-0 (1 KO) and the 2020 Olympic gold medalist in the middleweight division. The 29-year-old hails from Wales, which means Price will have a hometown crowd at the Cardiff International Arena while McCaskill will be in hostile territory.

The undercard is slated to include Hughie Fury as well as a number of undefeated prospects.

Saturday, May 11: John Leonardo vs. Frank Gonzalez (, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

This show, which will stream for free, takes place at the Tropicana Atlantic City in New Jersey. 

Leonardo is a 23-year-old junior featherweight from about 90 minutes up the road in Manlapan Township. He’s 10-1-1 (4 KOs) and has won three straight since a majority decision loss to Jostin Ortiz Maysonet in 2022. Only three of Leonardo’s pro wins have come against opponents with winning records.

Beating Gonzalez would make it four. Gonzalez is a 27-year-old from Florida who is 12-5 (6 KOs). He’s coming off two straight defeats. And he, too, has only beaten three foes with winning records.

The undercard also features a handful of unbeaten prospects.

Saturday, May 11: Eduardo Hernandez vs. Daniel Lugo (DAZN, 8 p.m. Eastern Time)

Hernandez was one round away from winning the WBC’s world title at 130 pounds last October, ahead on the scorecards against O’Shaquie Foster going into the 12th. But then Foster dropped Hernandez twice and finished him with 22 seconds to go. That dropped the 26-year-old, who was born in Mexico City and now calls Las Vegas home, to 34-2 (31 KOs). Hernandez’s other loss came on the other end of the spectrum, a first-round knockout loss to Roger Gutierrez back in 2019.

He’ll look to rebound on this show in Aguascalientes, Mexico, against countryman Daniel Lugo. The 29-year-old from Sonora is 27-2-1 (18 KOs) and is coming off a majority draw this past February against former featherweight titleholder Mauricio Lara.

Their chief support is a women’s junior featherweight title fight, with Erika Cruz Hernandez, 17-2 (3 KOs), defending against Nazarena Romero, 13-0-1 (7 KOs). Cruz Hernandez, 33, of Mexico City, held a featherweight title before losing it to Amanda Serrano in 2023. She then moved down to 122 and outpointed Mayerlin Rivas for the WBA belt in November. 

Romero, a 29-year-old from Argentina, deserves a shot at the title. It almost belonged to her first. She faced Rivas in June 2023 and scored a knockdown in the third round, only to suffer a bad cut from an accidental clash of heads that sent the fight to the scorecards in the fifth round. The judges were split, so the fight ended as a technical draw.

Saturday, May 11: Denzel Bentley vs. Danny Dignum (TNT Sports 1, 7 p.m. BST)

These two British middleweights headline at York Hall in London. 

Bentley, 29, is 18-3-1 (15 KOs) and has lost two of his last three. He was outpointed by WBO titleholder Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in November 2022, knocked Kieran Smith out in 45 seconds in April 2023, and then was upset via majority decision by Nathan Heaney this past November.

Dignum, 32, is 16-1-1 (9 KOs). He also has a loss to Alimkhanuly, dispatched in about five minutes in May 2022. Dignum returned with a pair of wins in March and April 2023 but has not fought in about 13 months.

Several prospects are scheduled for the undercard.

Saturday, May 11: Junior Younan vs. Ricardo Luna (, 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time)

This show is being held at The Paramount in Long Island, New York. Younan is an undefeated 28-year-old from Brooklyn who has competed in recent years at super middleweight and light heavyweight. He is 19-0-1 (11 KOs). That draw came in 2018 against Ronald Ellis, who went on to lose to familiar names such as David Benavidez, Christian Mbilli and Erik Bazinyan.

Luna, a 34-year-old from outside of Mexico City, is 26-11-2 (17 KOs). He’s been regularly served up as cannon fodder for up-and-comers at 168 and 175.

Follow David Greisman on Twitter @FightingWords2. His book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” is available on Amazon.