Fulton vs. Inoue – Tonight’s Preview and Prediction

By Jeepers Isaac - 07/24/2023 - Comments

WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton defends against home country favorite Naoya Inoue in the headline of their fight on Tuesday morning at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

(Photo credit: Naoki Fukuda)

Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) & his trainer have angered the proud former three-division world champion Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) by shining the spotlight on his double-stacking method of having his hands wrapped;

Fulton vs. Inoue, Ramirez vs. Shimizu will be shown on ESPN+. The time of the fight between Fulton & Inoue could be between 7 & 8. a.m. ET. The event starts at 4:30 a.m. ET.

Fulton – Inoue prediction:

Inoue will overpower and stop Fulton by the seventh round. The fight would be a far different story if Fulton had some punching power, but he doesn’t, so he’s not going to be able to keep Inoue off of him.

Tim Bradley says that what Inoue is doing is illegal with excessive tape on his wraps, and he estimates that it increases one’s power x 10.

If this is true, it makes sense for Inoue to stay in Japan so that he can continue to use his special hand-wrapping technique to increase his power x 10 and continue to knock out his opposition.

Obviously, boxing has a long way to go before it’s on the level of better-regulated sports like the NFL & NBA. In those sports, the rules would be the same nationally. You wouldn’t have different rules with equipment based on which country you playing in, like we see in boxing.

The Japanese star clearly doesn’t like being viewed as a cheater, but he’s not upset enough to change the way he has his hands wrapped, which suggests to some fans that Inoue is stubborn and could feel that he needs to have his hands wrapped with lots of tape to win.

As the saying goes, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do.‘ If Fulton has issues with the double-stacking that Inoue uses, he can certainly do the same by loading up his wraps by loading them up too to duplicate what Naoya is doing.

What would be interesting is if Fulton’s power increases with the extra take on his hands. It wouldn’t be surprising if it does.

On the undercard, WBO featherweight champion Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (12-1, 7 KOs) fights Satoshi Shimizu (11-1, 10 KOs). This is the co-feature.

Inoue’s flaws exposed

“One of the tendencies of Inoue, yeah, he’s good offensively, responsible defensively, he moves his head, but I noticed that 95 percent of the time when he moves his head, he stops on the right side all the time,” said Teddy Atlas on his Youtube channel, previewing the Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue fight.

“I’ve noticed on tape one of the flaws that up to this point in his career, Inoue has gotten away with it, but there’s always a first where you don’t get away with it.

“What he does is when aa punches coming at you, you should either block it, use your legs to get out of range. There are three lines of defense. Blocking, using your legs to get out of range or moving.

“That’s pretty much the right way. There have been fighters that have done it the wrong way, like Roy Jones and Muhammad Ali; not too many of them got away with doing it wrong and made it right.

“But sooner or later, you usually pay for those technical mistakes, and I noticed that Inoue, what he’ll do is d this [laen back to avoid shots] from his waist.

“He’ll pull back; he’ll pull back to make you miss a jab. Yeah, he gets away with it. He’ll pull back to make you miss a hook. So if Fulton did his homework, and his trainers did their homework. What he’ll do is put him in space.

“He’ll try to put him into that vulnerable place just for a split second and take advantage of it. If I was advising him, the thing I would do is I’d give just a little feint and get him to step to the right and step in real quick because you’re not going to get too many chances. He’s vulnerable; he’s not in a position to punch.

“So again, get up. Sep right in. Step-punch. Don’t reach in. Step and punch. If he does that, well, Godzilla doesn’t lose too often, but you never know. It starts with homework again. You always want to know the habits of your opponent.

“You know what that’s called? Predictability. When you’re predictable, there’s hope for the other guy to take advantage of that, especially with the right hand. So there’s a problem with laying on your right. If I lay on my right side, I’m in the lane of the right hand.

“You want to finish on the left side, outside the right hand, not on the right side. So, I notice that he’ll move his head and he’ll stop there on the right side.

“Thank you because I want this guy to hit you on the freaking chin. So he’ll stop right there, right in the alleyway of the right hand. He should stop here, outside of the right hand,” said Atlas.

Fulton must make Naoya respect him

“All monsters get defeated sooner or later. Well, at least on TV, they do. He’s got to fight a very consistent fight,” said Atlas on what Fulton must do to beat Inoue. A lot of times in this game, you can make mistakes.

“The great ones do it, and you overcome the mistakes. That’s part of being great, but when you’re in there with a puncher, an undefeated fighter, a champion with the kind of confidence and the power that Inoue has, it’s not just his power.

“It’s his accuracy. He doesn’t waste anything. He doesn’t miss a lot. One of his strengths is he’s always in position with his feet with his legs, where he’s always in the right place to throw the right punch.

“So you’re going to have to be really on your p’s and q’s all night long from a defensive standpoint and be able to find a way to create enough offense to hold him to make him respect you, to keep the tide from just crashing to the shore so to speak.

“So there is always hope. Fulton is undefeated too. If they did their homework and looked at the tape, they may have seen a flaw. Everyone’s got flaws; nobody’s perfect. Even you, where they make a mistake,” said Atlas.

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