Naoya Inoue and Luis Nery inch closer to a deal that would provide by far their largest audience to date. has confirmed that the aforementioned undisputed junior featherweight championship matchup is targeted to take place on May 6—a Monday—at the famed Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

A deal was long in place for the fight itself. Boxing Scene has additionally learned that there was a hold on the venue since at least the start of the new year. However, plans are contingent upon the Japanese Boxing Commission (JBC) agreeing to lift Nery’s indefinite suspension.

Absent that, an alternate location will have to be secured since the fight is a WBC mandatory title defense. Tijuana’s Nery (35-1, 27KOs) is the sanctioning body’s number-one contender and now in line to challenge for Inoue’s undisputed crown.

Inoue himself called for Nery to be the first of a planned three-fight campaign in 2024. His team was proactive in working with the JBC to lift a suspension that has been in place for Nery since his March 2018 rematch with Shinsuke Yamanaka, when he badly missed weight.

The development was viewed by the commission as a lack of respect, at which point Nery was told to not return. The Mexican southpaw lost his WBC bantamweight title at the scales but proceeded to knock Yamanaka out in the second round. It was a repeat win for Nery, who dethroned the previously unbeaten WBC bantamweight champion via fourth-round knockout in August 2017. He subsequently tested positive for the banned substance Zilpaterol but attributed it to food contamination and was permitted to keep his title.

At the time of the Yamanaka rematch, it was widely reported that Nery was issued a lifetime ban. However, it was since learned that something was lost in translation and that the JBC confirmed it is in fact indefinite. Given that, there exists room— but by no means a guarantee—for Nery to once again fight in Japan.

Inoue (26-0, 23KOs) stormed through the junior featherweight division in a 2023 Fighter of the Year campaign.

The highly rated pound-for-pound entrant from Yokohama moved up in weight and became a four-division champion after an eighth-round knockout of previously unbeaten Stephen Fulton last July 25 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo. Inoue—who turns 31 in April—claimed the WBC and WBO 122-pound titles that night.

The same venue hosted what became Inoue’s second undisputed championship in less than 54 weeks. That feat was accomplished when he knocked out Marlon Tapales in the tenth-round of their WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO championship clash last December 26. Negotiations were already under way to next face Nery, given the difficult circumstances to ensure that such a fight could take place in Japan within his planned schedule.

Mr. Hideyuki Ohashi—Inoue’s promoter and a former two-time strawweight champ during his heyday—mentioned in a press conference days after the Tapales win of fan demand far exceeding venues such as Ariake Arena.

As Boxing Scene previously reported, an aggressive approach was taken to have Inoue fight at the Tokyo Dome and possibly even in Saudi Arabia during his 2024 campaign. The Tokyo Dome boasts an attendance record of 74,500, though it is traditionally scaled to house up to 55,000 fans.

The famed locale has only hosted two major boxing events, both headlined by then unbeaten, undisputed heavyweight champion Mike Tyson—including his monstrous February 1990 knockout defeat to Buster Douglas in what remains the benchmark for historic boxing upsets.

Nery will enter the fight in hopes of becoming a three-time titlist spanning two weight divisions.

In addition to his WBC bantamweight title reign, he previously held the WBC junior featherweight belt which he lost to Brandon Figueroa via seventh-round knockout in May 2021. It remains the lone career defeat for the 29-year-old southpaw, who has since won four straight. Among that list was his Fight of the Year-level eleventh-round stoppage of Azat Hovhannisyan in their WBC title eliminator last February 18 in Pomona, California.

Nery’s most recent win came last July 8, when he scored a second-round knockout of Froilan Saludar in Metepec, Mexico.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for X (formerly Twitter): @JakeNDaBox