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Naoya Inoue eyeing third world belt after upcoming junior bantamweight defense

Junior bantamweight world titleholder Naoya "Monster" Inoue is eyeing another move up in weight.

The Japanese star is set to defend his 115-pound belt for the seventh and probably final time when he faces Yoan Boyeaux, of France on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.

At the final prefight news conference on Thursday, Inoue (14-0, 12 KOs), the big favorite against Boyeaux (41-4, 26 KOs), said he was leaning toward a move up after the bout. Inoue, 24, has already won world titles at junior flyweight and junior bantamweight and wants to shoot for a belt in a third weight class.

"This may be my last defense as 115-pound world champion," Inoue said. "My physical and mental condition is at its very best and I believe I'll be able to show a very good performance. Next year, I'd like to try to acquire my third world belt."

If Inoue indeed vacates to move up in weight, it could mean a major change in plans for the HBO-televised "Superfly II" card on Feb. 24 from The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Inoue made a splash in his American debut on Sept. 9 when he appeared on the first Superfly card (super flyweight is the alternate name for the junior bantamweight division). He knocked out Antonio Nieves in the sixth round on a card that included three notable 115-pound bouts.

Plans were in the works for Inoue to return to defend his belt on the sequel card as long as he defeated Boyeaux and came out of the fight with no injuries. But if he moves up in weight, he probably would not appear at Superfly II, according to promoter Tom Loeffler.

If there is no Inoue bout at Superfly II, Loeffler told ESPN that he and HBO are talking about alternative bouts to round out the tripleheader.

In the already-set main event, junior bantamweight world titleholder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (43-4-1, 39 KOs), 31, of Thailand, will make his mandatory defense against Mexico's Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs), 27, a former unified flyweight titleholder.

On the September card, Sor Rungvisai knocked out former four-division champion -- and former pound-for-pound king -- Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez in the fourth round of their rematch for an upset in the main event. In the opening bout of that tripleheader, Estrada outpointed former titlist Carlos Cuadras in a title eliminator to earn the shot at Rungvisai.

In another junior bantamweight bout on the Feb. 24 card, Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KOs), 29, of Mexico, and former two-time title challenger McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KOs), 32, of Puerto Rico, will square off in a scheduled 10-rounder.