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Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue pushed back to July 25th

Image: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue pushed back to July 25th

By Chris Williams: WBC & WBO super featherweight champion Stephen Fulton and challenger Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue will meet on the rescheduled date of July 25th this summer in a 12 round bout at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

The fight was initially scheduled for May 7th, but the 29-year-old former three-division world champion Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) reportedly suffered a knee injury and needed more time.

It remains to be seen if Inoue will suffer a setback and require additional time to recover from his injury.

If you’re Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs), you got to be concerned about whether Inoue will continue to have injury problems moving forward because the last thing the talented 28-year-old two-belt 122-lb champion needs is to throw away a year of his career waiting for ‘The Monster’ to come back from his physical maladies.

Fulton is at his peak powers, having recently beaten the big three at super bantamweight – Daniel Roman, Brandon Figueroa, and Angelo Leo. It’s fair to say that if Inoue continues to have physical issues, Fulton needs to consider getting a fight in between against perhaps IBF & WBA super featherweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev or John Riel Casimero.

The long delay this fight is taking to get underway could hurt Fulton, as he hasn’t fought since last June when he beat Daniel Roman by a 12 round unanimous decision.

Assuming Inoue doesn’t require yet another postponement for the fight, Fulton will have been out of the ring for a solid thirteen months by the time he faces Naoya on July 25th in Japan. The inactivity isn’t good for any fighter, even a talented one like Fulton.

If you’re Team Fulton, you should be looking to get a tune-up fight before the July 25th fight against Inoue because it’s too much time out of the ring, and it hurts Stephen’s ability to be sharp for this fight a lot more than Naoya, who last fought in December.

Hopefully, Inoue doesn’t suffer an injury setback because this could turn out to be a nightmare for Fulton, with him investing a significant portion of his career waiting for the Japanese star to heal up.

‘The Stephen Fulton – Naoya Inoue fight for Fulton’s unified junior featherweight championship has been rescheduled for July 25 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Inoue’s American promoter, Top Rank, announced Wednesday,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN.

“Inoue suffered an undisclosed injury while training earlier this month ahead of the scheduled May 7 fight against Fulton in Yokohama, Japan.”

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