By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Fight fans will have a dose of the ultimate slugfest treat just before 2023 ends as the Marlon Tapales-Naoya Inoue super bantamweight unification title clash is already a done deal.
Multiple sources including boxingscene.com already confirmed the latest development, adding that the blockbuster fight will be held in Tokyo, Japan.
After Inoue dethroned Stephen Fulton for his WBC and WBO super bantamweight belts last July 25, 2023, Tapales quickly entered the ring during the post-match ceremony.
The Filipino pug then challenged the Japanese “Monster” and in a jiffy, Inoue nodded his head, and told his Japanese fans that the fight would go down this year.
With all the recent accomplishments by Inoue in less than a year, Tapales is determined to unify the super bantamweight division and surprise the boxing world with a win.
Four months ago, Tapales did the unthinkable after stunning Murudjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan via a split decision to snatch the WBA-IBF super bantamweight titles.
It was in the 10th round that the Filipino started to pull away in the scorecards after hitting the Uzbekistani champion at will with his quick jabs to the head and the midsection.
Despite the volume of punches he threw after the 10th round, Tapales continued to ramp up the intensity in the last two rounds. Although Akhmadaliev was able to hit him with a couple of left straights, the Filipino still held his ground and continued his daunting pressure to go home as the new super bantamweight king.
Aside from dethroning the Uzbekistani slugger, Tapales also made history after becoming the first fighter to taint his undefeated record.
With the win, Tapales improved his professional record to 37 wins, 19 knockouts, and three defeats while Akhmadaliev fell to 11 wins and one loss.
Can Tapales weather the storm and become the first-ever boxer to stop the surge of the Japanese Monster?