Inoue knocks out Tapales, turns into undisputed champion anew


Naoya Inoue Marlon Tapales undisputed Japan

Japan’s WBC and WBO tremendous bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue celebrates his victory over Philippines’ WBA and IBF tremendous bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales after their four-belt world tremendous bantamweight title unification match at Tokyo’s Ariake Area on December 26, 2023. (Picture by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan’s Naoya Inoue turned an undisputed world champion at a second weight on Tuesday after knocking out the Philippines’ Marlon Tapales within the tenth spherical to say all 4 tremendous bantamweight belts.

The unbeaten Inoue, nicknamed “Monster”, despatched Tapales to the canvas with an enormous proper hand in Tokyo so as to add the WBA and IBF titles to his personal WBC and WBO belts.

Inoue, who took his report to 26-0 with 23 KOs, turns into solely the second man to unify all 4 world titles in two totally different weight courses.

American Terence Crawford turned the primary after beating compatriot Errol Spence for all of the welterweight belts in July.

“I feel tremendous bantamweight is essentially the most appropriate weight class for me in the mean time,” stated the 30-year-old Inoue.

“Subsequent yr and the yr after that, I need to show that I can turn into a good stronger fighter.”

Inoue accomplished his rampage via the bantamweight division in December final yr, turning into the primary undisputed world champion on the weight in half a century earlier than vacating his titles.

Naoya Inoue Marlon Tapales undisputed japan

Japan’s WBC and WBO tremendous bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (L) fights with Philippines’ WBA and IBF tremendous bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (R) throughout their four-belt world tremendous bantamweight title unification match at Tokyo’s Ariake Area on December 26, 2023. (Picture by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

He wanted simply two fights to turn into the super-bantamweight division’s first-ever undisputed champion.

He beat American Stephen Fulton in July in his debut on the weight to say the WBC and WBO belts.

However he needed to dig deep to beat Tapales, who clawed his means again into the battle after Inoue floored him within the fourth spherical.

“He was very robust with a robust mentality,” stated Inoue.

“I feel the way in which I used to be in a position to knock out a robust fighter like that within the tenth spherical is proof of all I’ve been doing, so I’m relieved.”

Inoue went on the assault right away in opposition to Tapales, who upset Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev by break up determination in April to win the IBF and WBA titles.

Inoue landed some early punches whereas the 31-year-old Tapales stayed in his defensive shell.

The Japanese fighter dropped his opponent on the finish of the fourth spherical after a flurry of head photographs, just for Tapales to stand up and beat the depend.

Inoue went straight again to work at the beginning of the fifth, though Tapales additionally landed some large photographs.

Tapales steadied the ship however Inoue maintained the higher hand and completed his opponent with a ferocious straight proper hand.

“He stored a poker face all through and didn’t present that my punches had been doing him any harm, so I used to be fairly stunned when he went down within the tenth spherical,” stated Inoue.

Tapales noticed his report drop to 37-4 with 19 KOs.

Inoue has received world titles in 4 totally different weight divisions, having additionally triumphed on the light-flyweight and tremendous flyweight ranges.

He knocked out England’s Paul Butler in December final yr to turn into the primary undisputed bantamweight world champion since Panama’s Enrique Pinder in 1972.



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He additionally turned solely the ninth undisputed world champion for the reason that four-belt period started in 2004, and the primary within the bantamweight division.

After vacating his titles, his youthful brother Takuma claimed the WBA bantamweight belt in April with a win over Venezuela’s Liborio Solis.



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