Manager Says Focused Nery Will Not Let Inoue Get Revenge For Japan

Boxing Scene

TOKYO – Manager Sean Gibbons says his fighter Luis Nery is dialled in on his task at the Tokyo Dome on Monday (May 6) night when he comes in as a hefty underdog to challenge unified super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.

Gibbons is a boxing lifer and he has noted changes in Nery since talk about the possible showdown with Inoue started to grow.

“Leading into this fight, I’ve never seen his focus like this,” said Gibbons. “The fight with Emmanuel Rodriguez, he’d go home on the weekends, play around, when he trained with Eddy [Reynoso], he’d go to TJ [Tijuana]. [For Inoue] he left January 2nd and never went back to Tijuana. 

“He was there for three months [in training camp], all focus and that’s it. He’s been in the zone.”

Nery has also brought plenty of back up. “He’s got more support here than any fighter has had, even my Filipino fighters didn’t come this heavy,” Gibbons added. “I came with Michael Dasmarinas, I came with [Stephen] Fulton, I came with [Marlon] Tapales, nobody had confidence. This guy, all he tells me every day is, ‘This is the first time in nine years I did things right. I’m knocking Inoue out’. The guy’s confident. I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s go champ’.”  

Gibbons understands the backstory here, and why it is Nery who has been brought in for Inoue. The decision to let Nery back to return after the Japanese Boxing Commission had banned him for coming in overweight against Shinsuke Yamanaka, having failed a drug test in their first fight, was not universally welcomed in Japan, but it made the fight commercially attractive and some see it as an alternative method of punishment for the Mexican challenger. 

“He [Nery] absolutely thinks he’s here so Inoue can get revenge for Japan,” Gibbons added. “And for Yamanaka and for everybody, but that just motivates him. 

“I don’t think he has to cast himself as the bad guy, I think he did a pretty good job already of making himself the bad guy here – and I think that’s who Luis is. He thrives on it. It doesn’t bother him. There has to be a good guy and a bad guy in the story, right?

“I think that’s his personality, he’s really a confident guy and he looks the part. Look at him.”

Nery has been seen signing for fans and having pictures with them this week, so he can’t be all bad. 

“[He’s a] bad guy in a sense that when the fight starts,” Gibbons continued. “He’s not a nice guy in the ring. He’s cool with the fans, and he had his moment with Yamanaka where he apologized, but at the end of the day he’s just one of those guys that they’re going to pull in at that secondary TSA [Transport Security Administration] pre-check!”

Had Gibbons thought that, with his fighter barred from Japan, he would ever get the money-spinner with Inoue?

“I never really thought about it per se. I just knew that he was working his way to get to mandatory, so I never really put a thought to it,” Gibbons continued. “All we thought was, ‘Get to the mandatory and let’s see about fighting for the WBC world title’, but it was never a thing where we were worried that he wasn’t going to get the fight because he was on suspension.”

Nery came in a pound under the super bantamweight limit at yesterday’s weigh-in, and it was greeted in some quarters with an applause that could be deemed sarcastic. But Gibbons said this new, professional version of Nery wouldn’t miss the weight, and he won’t miss on fight night.

“He could have made weight Friday or Saturday,” said Gibbons. “He wanted to show the people that he’s serious, that he’s here to win and that those issues he had in 2017 was a Luis Nery long gone.”  

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