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Total Domination in Japan as Undisputed Bout Is Settled by Knockout

Naoya Inoue stops Marlon Tapales

Boxing News

Total Domination in Japan as Undisputed Bout Is Settled by Knockout

Photo credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter

Total Domination in Japan as Undisputed Bout Is Settled by Knockout

Naoya Inoue (26-0, 23 KOs) put in another dominant performance to once again become the undisputed champion of the world.

The Japanese knockout artist took on fellow unified titlist Marlon Tapales (37-4, 19 KOs), knocking him out at the 1:02 mark of the tenth round. Going into the bout, Inoue held the WBC and WBO super bantamweight belts, while Tapales had the WBA and IBF titles.

The fight headlined a night of fighting at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Fittingly enough, it took place on Boxing Day. Viewers in the United States could catch the action live on ESPN+. Sky Sports were the broadcasters in the UK.

Naoya Inoue Dominates Marlon Tapales

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Inoue Becomes Undisputed Once Again

Both fighters remained an arm’s length from each other during the opening round. Neither did anything particularly risky. The two did open up slightly in the second, but neither landed anything that was cause for concern for the other. Inoue began showboating in round three to make Tapales make a mistake, but the Filipino fighter did not take the bait.

Tapales went down for the first time late in round four. A three-punch combination from Inoue did the trick, beginning with a left hook, then a straight right and ending with another left hook.

Although the “Maranding Nightmare” valiantly tried, his shots – had no impact on Inoue. Whenever the “Monster” landed, it seemingly affected his opponent, sending Tapales back and sometimes even flailing onto the ropes.

The end for the Filipino fighter came in round 10. A right hand from Inoue that landed on the glove sent Tapales back to the ropes. “Monster” followed that up with a second right hand, a straight punch down the middle. Tapales went to the canvas a second time – and did not beat the count, giving Inoue the knockout win.

Post-fight Quotes

“I think super bantamweight is my weight division for now,” said Inoue through an interpreter. “So, 2024, I would like to show you myself as a super bantamweight in even more stronger form.”

Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales Undercard Results

In an incredible bout, Seiya Tsutsumi (10-0-2, 7 KOs) won a unanimous decision against Kazuki Anaguchi in a 10-round bantamweight contest. Scores were 95-91 and 94-92 (x2). Anaguchi was outboxing his opponent, but Tsutsumi won the fight – by scoring multiple knockdowns. Tsutsumi dropped Anaguchi in rounds four, seven, nine and ten. With the win, he is now the Japanese bantamweight champion.

Andy Hiraoka (23-0, 18 KOs) beat Sebastian Maldonado (18-7, 13 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight bout. The time of stoppage was 1:07 of the fifth. Maldonado went down halfway through the opening round. Referee John Hachisuka stepped in during round five to wave off the fight following a barrage of punches from Hiraoka.

Opening the international broadcast was an eight-round super bantamweight clash between Yoshiki Takei (8-0, 8 KOs) and Mario Maldonado (21-7, 9 KOs). A left hand to the body sent Maldonado down in round two, and he did not beat the count. The time of stoppage was 2:23 of the second. Some may recognize Takei from his kickboxing days.

Prior to the broadcast, Kanamu Sakama (9-0, 8 KOs) beat John Gabulinas (10-3, 7 KOs) in an eighth-round light flyweight bout. Referee Koji Tanaka stepped in at the 2:35 mark of round five to give Sakama the technical knockout.

Fuga Uematsu (2-0, 2 KOs) also won via technical knockout in his four-round featherweight fight against Suguru Ishikawa (3-6-1, 2 KOs). The stoppage came in round four.

Rikiya Sato (1-0, 0 KOs) won a unanimous decision – in a four-round super featherweight bout against Keisuke Endo (0-3, 0 KOs). Scores were 39-36 (x2) and 38-37.

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Currently writing out of Toronto, Canada, Saadeq first became a boxing fan while living in Doha, Qatar. Looking to become more involved in the sport, he began writing about boxing and has had work published in outlets such as Seconds Out and Boxing Social. He looks forward to continue covering boxing on Big Fight Weekend.

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