By Allan Fox: WBC & WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) believes he’s the more talented fighter than knockout artist Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs), and he’s going to prove what he already knows on Tuesday, July 25th at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
(Courtesy: Naoki Fukuda)
Fulton says all Naoya knows are knockouts, as that’s all he’s trying to do in his, and that makes him predictable & one-dimensional, & susceptible to being outboxed.
Naoya always trying to impress fans
Inoue, 30, has knocked out thirteen of his last fourteen opponents, with many of the stoppages coming within the first six rounds. What this means is Naoya is putting every ounce of energy into his shots, looking to KO his opponents, and wanting praise from his supporters in Japan.
Inoue’s focus on trying to impress the fans is putting him at a disadvantage because a pure boxer with Fulton’s skills, size & ability can outbox him.
For Inoue’s sake, he needs to come into Tuesday’s fight with a different game plan other than just trying to knock Fulton out mindlessly. Whether Inoue can adapt in a fight is questionable because he’s never tried.
Even when Inoue struggled in his contest against David Carmona in 2016, he never stopped trying to knock him out, and this led to him getting nailed repeatedly by the smiling Mexican fighter.
Carmona enjoyed taking advantage of Inoue loading up on his shots, as he’d that type of one-dimensional fighter many times in his native Mexico.
Naoya always looking for knockouts
“I feel like I’m the better guy all around overall. When I look at what I have to offer and what he has to offer, I feel like I’m a better all-around fighter,” said Stephen Fulton Jr to Fighthype about his fight on July 25th against challenger Naoya Inoue.
You have to agree with Fulton about him being a better overall fighter than Inoue because he’s got many facets to his game, and he’s just a guy that relies on his power & hand speed to win fights like Naoya.
You can’t blame Inoue for developing into the one-trick pony that he’s become because he’s had no reason to develop his skill set because he’d always had so much success going for kill shots.
“Exactly, that’s one of the areas [punching power] he’s at the strongest,” said Fulton. “That’s why I say I’m an all-around fighter. He’s more the athletic build, known for the knockout. So when we have a guy that’s known for knockouts, they tend to feel comfortable with that, and they look for that.
“When we have an all-around fighter, you can do whatever, and that’s a dangerous fighter to deal with. Of course, I have the power as well. That’s why none of my opponents continue to come in,” said Fulton.
Unfortunately for Inoue, it’s late in the game for him to try and change his fighting style for the Fulton contest, as he’s too old to try and box in this fight.
Moreover, Inoue’s boxing skills are too underdeveloped for him to suddenly turn to that part of his game to try and defeat Fulton. It’s fair to say that Naoya’s ability to box is like a vestigial structure, like the useless arms of a T-Rex. Inoue has never developed his skills; like T-Rex, he only knows how to do one thing.
“The only person that kept coming in was Brandon [Figueroa],” said Fulton. “He’s a different type of fighter, but people are people underestimate it until they feel my pop.
“Yes, I would say that,” said Fulton when asked if he’s the more athletic fighter. “I’m not sure because I haven’t felt Inoue’s power,” said Stephen on whether Brandon Figueroa punches as hard or harder than Naoya.
“I can point out a proven fact about those two. When people talk about power and knockouts, I can point out one proven fact that I have went up against. Brandon was on a 17 or 18 knockout streak before he fought me. He’s [Inoue] on the same thing, right?” said Fulton.
Can Fulton knock out Inoue? It’s entirely possible because he could take advantage of the Japanese star’s aggressive fighting style to hit him with the perfectly timed counter punch to stop him.
Stephen convinced he’ll defeat Inoue
“That’s exactly what I expected,” Fulton said about the Japanese fans being excited about his fight with Inoue. ‘The fans are exactly how I expected and briefed me. I knew I would be big when I came out here. I knew I was like a superstar when I came out here.”
The Japanese fans know that Naoya is up against in this fight, and they’re worried that he could lose for the first time. Inoue has become spoiled from having it easy fighting tomato cans for the first thirteen years of his career, and he’s now finally up against a real threat with talent in Stephen Fulton.
“So I feel like that’s probably the reason why I’m just relaxed because I’ve been seeing this for myself,” said Fulton. “I’ve felt this way about myself. I’ve been new. This is what I deserve. So when other people see that, they’re like, ‘Oh my God, how do you feel about it?’
“It’s like when you know something about yourself, and you had that desire to visualize it so much, it feels it feels almost true, even when you don’t even have it.
“Now that I got it, it feels just normal to me; it’s regular. So that’s why I’m carrying myself the way I am. I feel completely normal being out in another country. It’s really normal. I feel like if anybody could do something like this, it’s me,” said Fulton.