Stephen Fulton Jr. (21-0, 8 KOs) and Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) faced off for a final time before their super bantamweight title fight on July 25. The bout will take place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Fulton’s WBC and WBO titles will be on the line. For Inoue, it will be his first time fighting at this weight, having previously fought at light flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight.
Previously, the two were to clash in Yokohama on May 7. A training injury suffered by Inoue postponed the fight to July 25. Now, however, the bout is all set to go ahead as both men comfortably made weight. Fulton weighed in at 121.9 lbs. Inoue came in at a career highest 121.7 lbs.
The matchup pits two of the most talented fighters in the sport. Fulton recently made our list of five American boxers to look out for and is considered to be the best in his weight class. Inoue is a three division world champion and was recently undisputed at bantamweight.
Hear Dan Rafael and T.J. Rives discuss more about Fulton-Inoue on the latest episode of the Big Fight Weekend podcast below.
Other fights on the Fulton-Inoue card
According to BoxRec, there are a total of nine bouts on the card, including Fulton-Inoue. However, only four will be on the broadcast. Viewers in the USA can watch the fights live on ESPN+. Sky Sports has the rights for the UK and Ireland. In Canada, the event can be watched on TSN+. For Australian fight fans, Kayo will broadcast the card as a PPV. Those in Japan can also purchase the card as a PPV on Lemino.
Opening the broadcast is a bantamweight bout between Yoshiki Takei (6-0, 6 KOs) and Ronnie Baldonado (16-4-1, 9 KOs). Some may remember Takei (23-2, 16 KOs in kickboxing) from his time in K-1. From 2017 until 2020, Takei held the K-1 super bantamweight championship. He retired from kickboxing in late 2020 and has since taken up boxing.
Following the opening bout is a light flyweight clash between Kanamu Sakama (7-0, 6 KOs) and Ryu Horikawa (3-1-2, 1 KO). Sakama is a 20 year old Japanese prospect fighting for the first time this year. Horikawa has been matched tough in his last two bouts, getting stopped by minimumweight contender Yudai Shigeoka in five rounds and drawing against former flyweight champion Sho Kimura in his last bout.
Just before the main event, Robeisy Ramirez (12-1, 7 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBO featherweight title against Satoshi Shimizu (11-1, 10 KOs). Ramirez is one of Cuba’s most successful amateurs over the last decade, winning Olympic gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016. He overcame a loss in his professional debut and is now a world champion, claiming a vacant title against Isaac Dogboe in April. Shimizu is also an accomplished amateur, winning Olympic bronze in London 2012. This will be his first time fighting for a world title.
Stay tuned for more Fulton-Inoue coverage on Big Fight Weekend.