Naoya Inoue is braced for a ‘long battle’ with Paul Butler should their blockbuster bantamweight clash be confirmed.
Inoue and Butler are hoping to agree terms on a fight to become undisputed world champion at 118lbs, later this year.
The Japanese star holds the WBC, WBA and IBF titles while Probellum fighter Butler owns the WBO version, and a clash between the pair would crown a first undisputed champion at the weight, in almost half a century.
Inoue has read Nonito Donaire’s recent interview with Probellum.com in which the Filipino Flash – beaten by ‘Monster’ in June – has advised Butler to employ certain tactics against the knockout artist.
“I read a story that Donaire is advising him to move around, use his jab, utilize his speed, and lateral movement,” Inoue told The Ring.
“If Butler does that, I think it will be a long battle. A lot of people think I’m a quick KO puncher, always knocking opponents out in the early rounds, but I’m actually not a hyper-aggressive fighter, so I’m going to have to figure out how Butler will come out and how we’ll engage.”
Inoue has plans to move up a weight class, and become a four-division world champion, but insists he is not overlooking Butler.
“Butler’s strengths are his footwork, jab and lateral movement. I will need to make a solid strategy,” he added.
“Butler might not be as big of a threat as Donaire, especially power wise, to be completely honest, but I do think he’s a capable fighter, and this is a full unification fight at 118 pounds, so my motivation is still very high.”
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