Home Bet on Boxing Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales – Big Fight Preview & Predictions

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales – Big Fight Preview & Predictions

Naoya Inoue gets the opportunity to become undisputed champion at a second successive weight class on Boxing Day when he takes on Marlon Tapales.

Naoya Inoue faces Marlon Tapales for the undisputed super bantamweight championship in Japan on Tuesday Photo Credit: Naoki Fukuda
Naoya Inoue faces Marlon Tapales for the undisputed super bantamweight championship in Japan on Tuesday Photo Credit: Naoki Fukuda

Super bantamweight undisputed supremacy is on the line at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Boxing Day, as the superlative WBC and WBO champion Naoya Inoue bids to hold all four major belts at a second weight, with WBA and IBF boss, Marlon Tapales standing in his way. Inoue vs Tapales is the last major boxing offering for 2023.

Sky Sports televise live Inoue vs Tapales in the UK, whilst ESPN+ broadcast in America.

Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) has been near-flawless in his professional campaign to date, and has held world championships in an astonishing four weights, cutting a swathe through the lower weight classes, beginning with the WBC light flyweight title with a sixth round stoppage of Adrian Hernandez in April 2014.

The World Boxing Super Series is where Inoue truly broke out, wiping out Juan Carlos Payano in a round, and Emmanuel Rodriguez in two to make the final, where he was tested by Nonito Donaire before taking a decision win to clinch the tournament. Three early defences of the WBA (Super) and IBF bantamweight titles followed before he added the WBC crown with a ruthless second round rematch stoppage win against Donaire raised further eyebrows.

‘The Monster’ completed the set of belts at 118 pounds last December, dominating WBO champion Paul Butler before closing the show in the penultimate frame. Inoue was last seen in July, and was expected to be extended by WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion, Stephen Fulton.

Inoue delivered a career best performance against Stephen Fulton earlier this year
Inoue delivered a career best performance against Stephen Fulton earlier this year

It didn’t turn out that way, as Inoue again dismantled his man, and forced an eighth round stoppage. Philippines-based Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) now stands in the Japanese buzzsaw’s way of making history at a second weight. The 31-year-old lost two early fights in his career, but since being halted in 11 by Ryosuke Iwasa in December 2019 for the interim IBF bauble, he has won four straight contests.

 

He went in as underdog to Murodjon Akhmadaliev’s WBA (Super) and IBF titles in April, but didn’t read the script in San Antonio, as he took home the belts via split decision, setting up a dream clash with Inoue to hold all four crowns.

Tapales' win over Murojdon Akhmadaliev was a huge upset.Credit: Mikael Ona
Tapales’ win over Murojdon Akhmadaliev was a huge upset.
Credit: Mikael Ona

Prediction: Inoue is destined for further greatness, and I can’t see Tapales standing in his way here. The Filipino has been stopped in two of his three defeats, and I believe Inoue will add to this list by forcing an end to the contest after halfway.

Japanese talent fills undercard

The sole ten rounder on the undercard should see the Japanese bantamweight title change hands, as Kazuki Anaguchi (6-0, 2 KOs) can handily outscore Seiya Tsutsumi (9-0-2, 7 KOs).

In eight round action, Andy Hiraoka (22-0, 17 KOs) ticks over, and he can get the job done early against Sebastian Diaz Maldonado (18-6-1, 13 KOs).

There are high hopes for light welterweight prospect Andy HiroakaCredit: Top Rank
There are high hopes for light welterweight prospect Andy Hiroaka
Credit: Top Rank

Flyweight prospect Kanamu Sakama (8-0, 7 KOs) can win early against John Paul Gabunilas (10-2, 7 KOs), while Yoshiki Takei (7-0, 7 KOs) can do the same in his super bantamweight meeting with Mario Diaz Maldonado (21-6, 9 KOs).

In four rounders, Fuga Uematsu (1-0, 1 KO) can get the better of Suguru Ishikawa (3-5-1, 2 KOs) early on in their flyweight contest, while Rikiya Sato can debut with a points win at super featherweight against Keisuke Endo (0-2).

Previous articleAnthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin – Results & Post-Fight Report
Next articleNaoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales – Results & Post Fight Report