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‘Monster’ Inoue Kayos Tapales, becomes undisputed champion in 2 different weight divisions

Dec 26, 2023 23:27 pm

World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Naoya ‘’the Monster’’ Inoue of Ohashi Boxing Gym became the second boxer in the history of the world to claim undisputed championship status in two different weight divisions as he knocked out Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in the 10th round in Tokyo on Dec. 26.

  The knockout of the scheduled 12-rounder at Ariake Arena came 1 minute and 2 seconds into the round when Inoue landed a hard straight right to the head, sending Tapales to the canvas. While Tapales, the World boxing Association and International Boxing Federation super bantamweight champion, attempted to struggle to his feet, the referee Celestino Ruiz of the United States counted him out.

  Inoue followed in the footstep of Terence Crawford of the U.S as the latter held the undisputed championship at light welterweight and welterweight this past summer.

  While the 30-year-old Inoue floored defense-minded Tapales, 31, late in the fourth round with a barrage of left-right hooks, the left-handed Tapales got up at the count of nine and was saved by the bell to end the round. Tapales’ best moment came in the seventh round as he stuck out right jabs to Inoue’s head.

  Inoue, who became the undisputed world bantamweight champion exactly a year ago by unifying the titles of all the four major sanctioning bodies, said after the fight, ‘’I want to express my gratitude to Mr. Tapales for accepting the fight. He was a tough and strong-minded boxer. I am relieved that I was able to prove what I have been doing was right with the 10th-round KO’’

  He added, ‘’Though I was able to collect the four championship belts (of the sanctioning bodies), I think super bantamweight is my adequate weight and am determined to become stronger next year and the year after next,’’ thereby brushing aside the oft-reported speculation that he would soon move up to featherweight.

  With the victory, the undefeated Inoue, who also was the WBA light flyweight champion and the WBO super flyweight champion, improved his record to 26 wins, including 23 KOs, while Tapales fell to a 37-4 win-loss record with 19 KOs.

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