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Stephen Fulton & Naoya Inoue agree to terms for May on ESPN+

Image: Stephen Fulton & Naoya Inoue agree to terms for May on ESPN+

By Jack Tiernan: WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) & Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) has agreed to terms for a fight on ESPN+ in May.

Fulton’s two 122-lb titles will be on the line for the former three-division world champion Inoue to try and win to become a four-division champ.

What is sure to make boxing fans happy is the Fulton vs. Inoue fight will be streamed on the ESPN+ app rather than being sold on pay-per-view like most of the other compelling fights that are taking place in March & April.

The belt-hungry 29-year-old Inoue is fresh off capturing the undisputed championship on December 13th at bantamweight, beating WBO champion Paul Butler by an 11th round knockout.

Inoue has since given up the four belts and is looking to capture the belts at 122 to become the undisputed champion in that weight division.

It could be more demanding for Inoue to duplicate the feat at super bantamweight because Fulton is unquestionably a better fighter than the four guys that the Japanese star defeated at 118 to become undisputed.

Inoue won his four 118-lb belts from these fighters:

  • Paul Butler – WBO
  • Nonito Donaire – WBC
  • Jamie McDonnell – WBA
  • Emmanuel Rodriguez – IBF

Fulton is on another level than those fighters, so it’s not going to be a cakewalk for Inoue to rip his WBC & WBO super bantamweight titles from him as it was to pick up his four straps at 118.

Inoue might be in for a little shock when he discovers that Fulton can’t be bowled over easily like the fighters that he’s routinely destroyed in the 112, 115, and 118-lb weight classes.

It’s good that PBC, who promote Fulton, and Top Rank, the handlers for Inoue, aren’t going to get in the way of making this fight happen. It would be a shame if Inoue didn’t at least get the chance to capture a fourth division world title.

You’d hate to see issues that have prevented Top Rank and PBC from working with one another regularly get in the way of the Fulton-Inoue fight.

Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue have agreed to terms for a unified 122-pound title fight in the spring in Japan,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN. The fight for Fulton’s WBC and WBO junior featherweights titles is being targeted for May, sources said, though a date has not been set.

“The bout will be streamed on ESPN+ in the morning stateside, according to sources. Inoue often fights on Tuesdays in Japan.”

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