Photos: Naoya Inoue, Marlon Tapales – Set For Undisputed Showdown

Boxing Scene

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN: Inoue vs. Tapales will be presented live on Tuesday, December 26, at a special early morning start time, 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT, exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+. This historic event takes place at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. (photos by Wendell Alinea)


In the main event, WBC/WBO world champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue and WBA/IBF king Marlon Tapales collide in a showdown for the undisputed junior featherweight championship. Inoue is attempting to become only the second man — following Terence Crawford — to become a two-weight undisputed champion in the four-belt era.


Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) is a staggering 20-0 with 18 knockouts in world title fights, a run that began in 2014 with his knockout victory over Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light flyweight world title. He went on to win the WBO junior bantamweight world championship before capturing the undisputed bantamweight world title last December. Inoue made his junior featherweight debut in July, dominating two-belt champion Stephen Fulton en route to an eighth-round TKO.


Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs), a Filipino southpaw, is a 15-year pro who won the WBO bantamweight world title in 2016 before moving up four pounds to junior featherweight. He is 4-0 since a TKO loss to Ryosuke Iwasa in December 2019. Tapales returns following his biggest win to date, April’s upset split decision over Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the WBA and IBF world titles.

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