Who’s next for Naoya Inoue? Filipino champion confirmed for undisputed title fight after face off

Promoters confirmed that a Filipino champion is likely next for Naoya Inoue.

By: Anton Tabuena | 5 months ago

Naoya Inoue completely dominated in his home country of Japan, knocking out the previously undefeated Stephen Fulton in the eight round to pick up his WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles. Inoue became a four-division world champion, and likely stated his case the best pound-for-pound boxer today.

This soon after his big victory and we likely already know what they have planned next for Inoue, with “The Monster” having an eye towards two more titles.

Boxing: Inoue vs. Fulton fight Naoya Inoue of Japan celebrates after dethroning Stephen Fulton of the United States as unified WBO and WBC super bantamweight champion in a boxing world title fight at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2023. PUBLICATIONxINxAUTxBELxBIHxBULxCZExDENxESTxFINxFRAxGEOxGERxGRExHUNxISLxIRLxITAxLATxLTUxLUXxLIExMKDxNORxPORxPOLxROUxSVKxSUIxSRBxSLOxESPxTURxUKxUAExONLY A14AA0001710461P
IMAGO / Kyodo News

Undisputed? Naoya Inoue faces off with Filipino champion

Immediately after Naoya Inoue’s victory, newly minted Filipino super bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales stepped into the ring to challenge the Japanese superstar.

“I want to fight Inoue because I want to prove to myself that I am the champion,” Tapales said respectfully before facing off with Inoue.

”Let’s do this, this year,” Inoue responded through a translator, before shaking Tapales’ hand.

Promoter Bob Arum also stepped in the ring, with commentators suggesting a possible title unification around November this year.

Tapales currently holds the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles, and a bout with Inoue would determine the undisputed champion at that weight. Before moving up in weight, Inoue was previously an undisputed champion at bantamweight after winning all four major titles.

https://twitter.com/trboxing/status/1683827888678924290?s=46&t=Oy7DmQUejB-RspgIpBxYmQ https://twitter.com/trboxing/status/1683827888678924290?s=46&t=Oy7DmQUejB-RspgIpBxYmQ

Who is Filipino champ Marlon Tapales?

Marlon Tapales is a 31-year-old Filipino, who is a two-division world boxing champion. He previously held the WBO bantamweight title in 2016, and recently won the WBA and WBF super bantamweight titles last April after defeating Murodjon Akhmadaliev by decision.

Watch highlights from Marlon Tapales’ career win that likely earned him a sizable payday against Inoue.

Tapales has a record of 37-3, and has won 16 of his last 17 bouts this decade.

The 25-0 Inoue has wins over other Filipino champions in recent years. The Japanese star previously beat future Hall of Famer in Nonito Donaire in 2019 and 2022, and Michael Dasmariñas in 2019.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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