The native of Tampilisan, Zamboanga Del Norte didn’t mince any word in declaring that he also wants a shot at Inoue, hands down the current star of the bantamweight division and holder of both the IBF and WBA title belts.
“Ang No. 1 sa list ko si Naoya Inoue kasi siya yung pangarap ko na makalaban,” said Sultan, 29, who is on a two-week vacation in the country following his stunning decision win over previously unbeaten Carlos Caraballo of Puerto Rico in New York City last week.
“Kung may opportunity na darating, gustung-gusto ko na makalaban si Inoue.”
Sultan is the latest Filipino pug to go after the 28-year-old Japanese after compatriot Johnriel Casimero and Nonito Donaire, both of who are vocal about their intention of meeting Inoue in a future unification match.
Sultan joins mix
Casimero is the reigning WBO bantamweight champion who’s set for a Dec. 11 title defense against Paul Butler, while Donaire holds the WBC version of the 118-pound belt, which he will stake on the same date against another Filipino in Reymart Garballo.
But Sultan suddenly joined the mix following his huge upset of Caraballo last Oct. 30 in which he knocked down the Puerto Rican knockout artist four times in their 10-round non-title bout on the way to scoring a unanimous decision.
The 29-year-old Sultan (18-5, 11 KOs) is also open to the inevitable – title bouts against either Casimero and Donaire.
That has been nothing new to him, having fought friend and reigning IBF super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in 2018 in Fresno, California. Sultan lost by unanimous decision.
“Posible yung ganun ang mangyari na Pinoy to Pinoy, kung wala na talagang iwasan,” said Sultan, who’s being managed by Junnie Navarro and Mike Venezuela of Zamboanga Valientes MLV.
“Pero hangga’t sakali, ayaw kong sila muna ang makalaban, kung may paraan pa,” he added. “Pero kung ganun talaga ang mangyayari na maging mandatory na, sige lalaban ako.”
But definitely, he’d rather face a foreign foe than a fellow Filipino.
“Mas maganda lang kung foreigner. Mas todo bigay,” he said.
And Inoue is certainly on top of that list.
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