Who is Luis Nery? Record, career stats, boxing history and bio for Naoya Inoue opponent

Japanese powerhouse Naoya Inoue is all about testing himself and that trend continues when he defends the undisputed super bantamweight championship against Luis Nery at the Tokyo Dome on May 6.

The 12-round bout, plus undercard action, will be broadcast by ESPN+ in the U.S.

WATCH: Naoya Inoue vs. Luis Nery, exclusively on ESPN+

Given that Inoue has already defeated the champions in this weight class, Nery is arguably the most formidable opponent available at 122 pounds. The 29-year-old southpaw has a 77 percent knockout ratio and has established himself among the elite as a two-weight world champion.

Armed with state-of-the-art firepower and invaluable experience, the fighter known as “Pantera” has no fear of “The Monster”. The challenger hasn’t been forced into taking this fight. On the contrary, Nery has proactively chased it down for well over a year.

“We’re looking for Naoya Inoue — we think it is a big fight, and [I] think I will finish him,” Nery told Fight Hub TV after disposing of Azat Hovhannisyan in February 2023.

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Can Nery back up his words, or will Inoue make him pay for his audacity?

Who is Luis Nery?

Nery turned professional in May 2012 and won 23 straight fights (17 by knockout) before challenging for a world title. His opponent was unbeaten Japanese hero Shinsuke Yamanaka, who was the proud holder of the WBC and Ring Magazine bantamweight titles.

On August 15, 2017, Nery battered Yamanaka to defeat inside four rounds and kicked open the door to stardom. However, the biggest moment of the Mexican star’s career was soon shrouded in controversy.

Just over a week after his career-best victory, it emerged that Nery had tested positive for zilpaterol (a banned substance) in a pre-fight test. Almost immediately, The Ring stripped Nery of their title and reinstated Yamanaka as champion. Meanwhile, the WBC accepted the fighter’s explanation that he’d ingested contaminated food and allowed him to retain their title.

However, things continued to go downhill. For his rematch with Yamanaka, in March 2018, Nery came in three pounds over the bantamweight limit and lost the WBC title on the scales. Despite being at a huge disadvantage, Yamanaka went through with the fight and was subsequently destroyed in two rounds.

So disgusted was the Japanese Boxing Commission over Nery’s conduct that they banned him from competing in the country for life.

Following the Yamanaka debacle, Nery posted four stoppage wins before moving up in weight to contest the vacant WBC super bantamweight title. On September 26, 2020, Nery outpointed unbeaten prospect Aaron Alameda to become a two-weight world champion.

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Again, Nery’s success was shortlived. In his next fight, a unification matchup against WBO counterpart Brandon Figueroa, Nery was stopped in seven rounds. To date, this is the only defeat on the Tijuana native’s resume.

He has won four fights since, three by stoppage, including The Ring Magazine’s 2023 Fight of the Year against Hovhannisyan.

To allow Inoue vs. Nery to go ahead, the Japanese Boxing Commission lifted the challenger’s ban.

Luis Nery record, stats, career history and bio

  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Born: December 12, 1994
  • Height: 5-5
  • Reach: 65 inches
  • Total fights: 36
  • Record: 35-1 with 17 wins via knockout

MORE: SN’s Top 12 best pound-for-pound boxers 

Naoya Inoue record, stats, bio

  • Nationality: Japanese
  • Born: April 10, 1993
  • Height: 5-5
  • Reach: 67 ½ inches
  • Total fights: 36
  • Record: 26-0 with 23 wins via knockout

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