Naoya Inoue’s May 6 defense of his undisputed junior featherweight titles will be his sixth consecutive bout in his native Japan.

Staying home has been good to Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs), with the 31-year-old becoming undisputed bantamweight king, convincingly defeating Philadelphia’s Stephen Fulton and rising to global pound-for-pound king.

It might be ugly American-ish to suggest this, but if he wants to truly break the bank, his genius in the ring belongs on U.S. soil.

During Thursday’s episode of Pro Box TV’s “Deep Waters,” former welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter said the increasing attention on Inoue needs to be maximized by his return to the states, where the four-division champion has fought just three times – most recently in 2021.

“We really don’t know what Inoue’s goals are – to be the next star in boxing?” Porter wondered. “In boxing, you’ve got to come to the U.S., you’ve got to cross those seas and knock down some Americans to make these other Americans [fans] take notice of what you’re doing.”

Inoue meets Mexico’s former junior featherweight titleholder Luis Nery (35-1, 27 KOs) in Japan on May 6 – a bout that starts in the early morning hours on a Monday U.S. time.

Through sleepy eyes, devout American fight fans have witnessed the unquestioned talent of “The Monster,” his wicked power and mercilessness as he heads cards in Japan.

“There’s a lot of people who respect Inoue and what he’s doing,” Porter said. “But if you’re someone like me, you’re saying, ‘Hey, let’s get him out of his own backyard, get him a little uncomfortable and see how he handles the energy when he’s not at home.” 

Against 7-1 underdog Nery, Inoue is a staggering -1250 betting favorite in a bout set to be fought in front of 50,000 at Tokyo Dome. 

Nery, whose lone loss is to Brandon Figueroa, has sought to question Inoue’s dominance, calling him “overrated,” “ordinary” and “overconfident.”

“I'm going there looking for the knockout,” Nery told BoxingScene’s Manouk Akopyan. “I'm not going to Japan looking for a decision.

“I see that he's a fast fighter. He's intelligent. He has a lot of power, apparently. Those are his strong points. His weak point is that he opens up when he throws, and that's where I come in.”

Inoue showed few weak points while trouncing Fulton and Marlon Tapales in his past two unification bouts. Should he beat Nery, a pressing question will be whether Inoue dares to ascend toward the next weight class, featherweight.

Of course, the bigger question to others is whether he’ll give up his home-country advantage.