Naoya Inoue Makes Weight On Second Try Ahead Of Historic Undisputed Fight Vs. Paul Butler
Inoue came in under the weight limit on his second attempt.
Naoya Inoue almost lost his titles.
But the Japanese star was able to make weight on his second attempt on Sunday ahead of his undisputed bantamweight championship title fight against Paul Butler on Tuesday. Inoue weighed in at 117 ¾ pounds after initially weighing 118.1 pounds Monday afternoon (local time); Butler came in exactly at the divisional limit of 118 pounds.
The winner of Tuesday’s bout (2:30 a.m. ET) will make history by becoming the first undisputed bantamweight champion in the three or four belt era. If Inoue wins, he would also become the first Japanese undisputed boxing champion.
The last undisputed bantamweight champion was in 1973 and it belonged to Enrique Pinder.
Inoue has been a dominant force, previously holding major titles at junior flyweight, junior bantamweight and bantamweight.
He claimed the IBF bantamweight title in May 2019 with a second-round knockout of Emmanuel Rodriguez. The next came when he met Nonito Donaire and took his WBA “Super” title in November 2019 via points. The two then held their anticipated rematch where Inoue would come out with the WBC belt via second-round knockout on June 7.
Now, all that’s left is the Butler’s WBO title.
Butler originally earned the interim WBO title with a 12-round unanimous decision against Jonas Sultan on April 22. Then, 12 days later, he was elevated to champion after then-titlist John Riel Casimero was stripped of the strap for violating a fight week sauna rule with the British Boxing Board of Control.
According to bet365 Sportsbook, Inoue is a heavy 50-1 favorite.
“I’m confident that if I really focus on defense, I won’t get (hit with) a single shot. Actually, I want to show that defense is my best (characteristic),” said Inoue.