This week, ‘The Monster’ Naoya Inoue returns to action with hopes of becoming the undisputed bantamweight champion of the world. To do this he will need to beat Britain’s Paul Butler in front of a friendly crowd at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
The 29-year-old Inoue comes into this one with a 23-0 (20 KOs) record and a reputation as one of the hardest pound for pound punchers on the planet (especially when it comes to body shots). He will be defending his WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and The Ring titles.
Inoue’s last win was a sensational two round TKO of Nonito Donaire to add the WBC belt to his collection.
Butler will be defending his WBO title. He’s 34 with a record of 36-2 (15 KOs). He won his title last time out, with a unanimous decision win over Jonas Sultan. His last loss was in 2018, when he failed to beat Emmanual Rodriguez for the vacant IBF bantamweight title (which Rodriguez lost to Inoue a year later, via second round KO).
Main Card (5 a.m. ET, ESPN+)
- Undisputed bantamweight championship: Naoya Inoue TKO-11 Paul Butler
POUND FOR POUND NO. 1️⃣
All hail @NaoyaInoue_410 #InoueButler pic.twitter.com/rPFdeKZy2k
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 13, 2022
- Andy Hiraoka TKO-8 Min Ho Jung
- Yoshiki Takei TKO-11 Bruno Tarimo
- Takuma Inoue TKO-8 Jake Bornea
Tickets at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan are available here.
Inoue vs. Butler will air on ESPN+.
A monthly subscription to ESPN+ costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. ESPN+ can also be included in The Disney Bundle with Hulu. The ad-supported version of that package is $13.99. The no-ads version is $19.99.
The show is also available on Amazon Prime in Japan and PPV in Australia ($29.95).
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Live news, updates and round-by-round commentary is available here on Bloody Elbow.
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