WHO NEEDS CHRISTMAS ???
When you've got Inoue v Tapales ready to go !
Today's weigh in : Inoue 121.6 Tapales 121.2
On Tuesday, WBC/WBO junior featherweight titlist Naoya Inoue will face IBF/WBA counterpart Marlon Tapales in a 12-round contest at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
The two will meet to decide who will claim the vacant Ring Magazine belt and become the undisputed champion at 122 pounds.
Inoue, The Ring’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, has devoured all put before him en route to claiming world titles at 108, 115, 118 and 122 pounds. The big-punching Japanese “Monster” has confirmed his moniker in demolishing the likes of Omar Narvaez (KO 2), Jamie McDonnell (TKO 1), Juan Carlos Payano (KO 1) and Emmanuel Rodriguez (KO 2). However, it’s his pair of triumphs over four-weight world champion Nonito Donaire that provided Inoue with considerable acclaim. He edged Donaire (UD 12) in an instant classic that was later named 2019 Fight of the Year by The Ring, then stopped him in the second round of their rematch.
Inoue became the undisputed bantamweight champion when he dominated and stopped Paul Butler in 11 one-sided rounds. With nothing left to conquer at 118, Inoue moved up in weight and looked just as impressive as ever bludgeoning Stephen Fulton (TKO 8), the consensus No. 1-rated junior featherweight, to add the WBC and WBO belts to his growing list of accolades.
Tapales, The Ring’s No. 2-rated junior featherweight, worked his way up through the ranks in the Philippines before narrowly losing to David Sanchez (MD 12) in Mexico in 2013. In late 2015, he upset the previously unbeaten Shohei Omari (TKO 2) in a WBO bantamweight title eliminator in Japan. He then headed to Thailand and twice got off the canvas to stop Pungluang Sor Singyu (TKO 11) to pick up the belt. In his first defense, Tapales went back to Japan to face Omari in a rematch. Although he missed weight and was stripped of his title, he was able to stop Omari in the 11th round.
Over a year of inactivity followed, but Tapales returned with three wins before losing to Ryosuke Iwasa (TKO 11) in an IBF 122-pound title eliminator. He bounced back with three more wins, including an impressive stoppage over Hiroaki Teshigawara (TKO 2) in an IBF eliminator. He then met Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April 2023 for the IBF and WBA titles and surprised the defending champion by winning a 12-round split decision.
Inoue (25-0, 22 knockouts) is at the peak of his powers. He appears to be the more powerful man as well as the better boxer. Might this lead to overconfidence? It’s difficult to see what Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) can do to beat Inoue. Perhaps he can show toughness, make it into a dogfight and hope to land something that can do some damage? While Inoue is expected to not just win but dominate, can he possibly be as awe-inspiring as he was against Fulton? Tapales has wanted this fight since he upset Akhmadaliev earlier this year. Do he and his team see a weakness in Inoue’s armor?
No items found.