Naoya Inoue, Paul Butler Battles For Undisputed Bantamweight Championship In December
With just one more win, Naoya Inoue could make history.
Unified bantamweight champion Inoue will reportedly take on Paul Butler in a lineal/WBA/WBC/IBF/WBO title fight on December 13 at a place to be determined in Japan, according to Boxing Scene.
Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs) claimed his third world title when he knocked out veteran Nonito Donaire in their June 7 rematch in Saitama, Japan. With the WBA, IBF and WBC titles, Inoue became Japan’s first-ever three-belt titleholder in boxing history.
If he wins in December, he would become the nation’s first-ever undisputed champion in the three-or four-belt era. The last time Japan had an undisputed champion was in 1975.
Butler (34-2, 15 KOs) secured a title shot after becoming the interim WBO title thanks to a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Jonas Sultan on April 22. Butler was supposed to face then WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero, but after two failed attempts, Butler got in.
He was upgraded to the full champion this past spring because Casimero was stripped of the belt.
Early odds are against Butler’s favor. Inoue is regarded as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
December 13 marks Butler’s first fight outside of the U.K. and Inoue’s third straight time fighting at home in Japan.