Naoya Inoue has vacated his 118-lb titles, moving to 122 to become undisputed

By Boxing News - 01/13/2023 - Comments

By Huck Allen: Undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue has officially vacated his four 118-lb titles, saying that he’s now be moving up to 122 to collect all the titles in that weight division as well.

Inoue won’t be able to capture the four titles at super bantamweight without the help of the two champions that hold all the belts, Murodjon Akhmadaliev [IBF & WBA] and Stephen Fulton [WBC & WBO].

Without those guys being agreeable to fighting Inoue, he will never get the opportunity to become undisputed at 122.

A big part that will play in the ‘Monster’ Inoue’s attempt to win the belts will be the promoters and the networks Fulton and Murodjon compete on. Unless they’re willing to Naoya Inoue fight them, it’s not going to happen.

If successful, the 29-year-old ‘Monster’ Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) will have become undisputed in two weight classes, which is unheard of in men’s boxing.

Inoue is coming off of an 11th round knockout of WBO bantamweight champion Paul Butler on December 13th in an undisputed clash at 118 in Tokyo, Japan.

Butler looked like he was there just to survive and spent much of the fight on the move, circling the ring in an apparent effort not to get clipped by the ‘Monster’ Inoue.

Winning even one title would make the superstar Inoue a four-division world champion, that’s an accomplishment because he’s done it against quality champions and wasn’t strategically matched against flawed belt-holders.

That’s a criticism that four-division world champion Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner had received from boxing fans, who point out that the champions he defeated to win those belts were mediocre guys that had never beaten anyone good before and after he fought them.

WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton has already said that he’s going to beat Inoue because he feels he’s too small and lacks the reach to defeat him like he’s done against other fighters in the three weight classes he’s competed in.

“I see me knocking him out clean. He’s too small for me, he’s too short, his reach isn’t there, and I’m not going to sit for those power shots all the time,” said Stephen Fulton to Brian Custer’s Youtube channel in talking about Naoya Inoue.

“There’s a lot I can analyze off of him. He’s good, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not better than me. I believe the same thing that happened to [Luis] will happen to him,” said Fulton.

YouTube video