By Craig Daly: In bad news for fans, Japanese superstar Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) has suffered an injury in training camp, resulting in his May 7th fight against unbeaten WBC & WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) being postponed.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN reports the info about the 29-year-old Inoue suffering an injury in training camp. He didn’t reveal what type of injury the former three-division world champion Inoue suffered and the extent of the problem in terms of giving a prognosis for the duration of time before he could return to the ring.
The Inoue vs. Fulton fight had been scheduled to be shown on ESPN and take place at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
Boxing fans were looking forward to watching the Inoue-Fulton fight on May 7th, and they’re going to be disappointed with the news of the postponement.
Inoue is coming off of an impressive 11th-round knockout of WBO bantamweight champion Paul Butler last December in Tokyo, Japan, in a fight in which ‘The Monster’ captured the undisputed 118-lb championship. It took Inoue four years of hard work to accomplish that feat.
Naoya Inoue suffered an injury in training and his May 7 fight in Japan vs. Stephen Fulton for the unified 122-pound championship has been postponed, sources tell ESPN. No new date at this moment. Story coming.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) March 21, 2023
Naoya hopes to become the undisputed champion at 122 lbs faster by defeating WBC/WBO champion Stephen Fulton and then IBF/WBA champ Murodjon Akhmadaliev this year to capture all four belts in 2023.
Fulton, 28, will have to wait until Inoue heals up before he can get a chance to try and hand the Japanese star his first loss. He believes he’s got more than enough talent to defeat Inoue with his size, speed, and boxing skills.
If Inoue requires a lot of time to return from his injury, Fulton might choose to stay busy and fight rather than sit around, waiting for him to recoup.
Fulton has recent wins over Daniel Roman, Brandon Figueroa, and Angelo Leo, which looked impressive in each. The way Fulton performed against Roman and Figueroa, many boxing fans picked him to beat Inoue.
Inoue has looked out of this world good over the last five years, beating these fighters:
- Paul Butler
- Nonito Donaire – x 2
- Emmanuel Rodriguez
- Jason Moloney
- Jamie McDonnell
- Juan Carlos Payano
- Michael Dasmarinas
- Aren Dipaen
- Antonio Nieves
- Yoan Boyeaux