According to reports, the bout will occur at the Ariake Arena, Tokyo, Japan. Inoue’s WBO & WBC belts will be up for grabs against Tapales’ WBA and IBF belts. The Japanese fighter arrives into the fight, having stopped Stephen Fulton to win the WBO and WBC titles. The comprehensive manner of the stoppage was shown when Inoue landed a right hand over the top to send the much-bigger Fulton to the ground as a left hand followed.
🥊 ANNOUNCED: Naoya Inoue will face Marlon Tapales for the undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO super-bantamweight world titles on Boxing Day, Dec 26th in Tokyo, Japan.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) October 25, 2023
That set up a following flurry, which resulted in the referee stopping the fight. Meanwhile, Tapales’ last fight was a win over Murodjon Akhmadaliev. However, the performance was far less convincing as a split-decision win could have gone another way on any other given day. A win for Inoue would make the Japanese an undisputed champion in a second weight class alongside Terence Crawford and Claressa Shields.
“The sensational Naoya Inoue astounds with every performance,” Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said of the pound-for-pound entrant, who is co-promoted by Top Rank. “We are witnessing an all-time great fighter in the prime of his career. He has a very difficult task at hand on December 26 against a tough, powerful Filipino champion in Marlon Tapales, but I am confident ‘The Monster’ will pass this test with flying colors,” Bob Arum