Naoya Inoue Becomes WBO ‘Super Champion’ at 118, Could Be Stephen Fulton’s Mandatory at 122

Via Huck Allen: Undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue has become a WBO ‘Super Champion’ at 118th, meaning he could become a mandatory WBC/WBO champion WBO belt holder. 122 lb Stephen Fulton if he petitions the sanctioning agency.

Inoue wants to quickly become the undisputed champion in super bantamweight by 2022. If Inoue can achieve that feat, it will make him the undisputed champion in two weight classes, unprecedented thing.

‘Monster’ Inoue, 29 years old (24-0, 21 KOs) revealed that he plans to move up to super bantamweight in his next bout earlier this month when he defeats 118 lb WBO champion Paul Butler by knockout in the eleventh round on December 13 in an undisputed clash in Tokyo, Japan.

Given the risk Inoue brings, he’ll likely need to go the imperative route to get an instant title against WBO super bantamweight champion Fulton (21-0.8 KOs) because of him. It’s not in the best interest to join this dangerous fight and ruin the wonderful situation the Philadelphia native enjoys as he owns two titles in 122.

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It wasn’t without risk that Inoue moved up to 122nd to challenge Fulton for his two belts. Fulton, 28, is an outstanding boxer with impressive recent victories over talented fighters:

  • Roman Daniel
  • Brandon Figueroa
  • Angelo Leo

Fulton didn’t just beat those guys. He dominated them in one-sided fights, displaying boxing skills unmatched in the super bantamweight class.

To be fair, if Inoue can’t knock Fulton out like he has in five of the last six, then he’s going to have a rough night. Fulton, 5’6 1/2″, will have a higher height and reach than 5’5″ Inoue, and he’ll be looking to capitalize on that.

‘Monster’ Inoue will probably win the title straight away against IBF/WBA super bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev. That fight will also be a tough one for the Japanese star.

Inoue overpowered his eventual opponent, Butler, 34, knocking him out in the 11th inning for a goal.

When the contest was waived, Inoue led on all three judges’ scores by 100-90, 100-90 and 100-90. Inoue knocks Butler down 151 to 38 in total punches. It would have been much better if Butler hadn’t cycled during the competition.

There’s a chance that Inoue won’t get a reality check until he moves up to feather class [126] and mixed it with champions Rey Vargas and Luis Alberto Lopez.


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