Naoya Inoue has already hit the bottom operating in pursuit of creating extra historical past.
The four-division and reigning unified WBC/WBO junior featherweight titlist has already begun preparation for his forthcoming undisputed championship versus IBF/WBA titleholder Marlon Tapales. A date has but to be introduced although the occasion is focused to happen mid-to-late December in Japan.
“One week of intense coaching has ended,” Inoue acknowledged in a publish, accompanied by a photograph sporting a chiseled physique alongside his group members. “I had a superb coaching session and am prepared to modify on for December.”
Yokohama’s Inoue (25-0, 22KOs) made historical past for Japan in back-to-back fights. He turned the nation’s first-ever undisputed champion within the three- or four-belt period—and the primary Asian to do as effectively—after his eleventh-round knockout of England’s Paul Butler to completely unify the bantamweight division final December at Ariake Area in Tokyo.
The identical venue noticed Inoue turned Japan’s first boxer to earn unified title standing at two or extra weights simply seven months later. He did so in damaging style after a one-sided, eighth-round knockout of unbeaten WBC/WBO 122-pound titlist Stephen Fulton on July 25, and have become Japan’s second male boxer to win at the very least one title at 4 weights within the course of.
It was already deliberate going into the struggle that his subsequent one would come versus the Philippines’ Tapales (37-3, 19KOs), who received the WBA/IBF belts in an April 8 break up determination victory over unbeaten Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Each side have operated all through as if the struggle will happen in December, even when the confirmed date stays unavailable for public consumption.
A win by Inoue will go away him as simply the second male and third total boxer on this planet to completely unify all 4 main titles (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO) at two extra weights.
Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (39-0, 30KOs) turned the primary male to take action along with his ninth-round stoppage of Errol Spence to change into undisputed welterweight champion six years after having performed the identical at junior welterweight. Claressa Shields totally unified the junior middleweight division by March 2021 and twice at middleweight, the latter full unification accomplished in her factors win over Savannah Marshall final October 15 in London.
Inoue has a shot to change into two-division undisputed in a span of only one yr.
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox