The super-bantamweight clash for two belts between defending WBC/WBO champ Stephen Fulton and former unified bantamweight king Naoya Inoue is back on, the new date being July 25. The fight, postponed as it was when Inoue suffered a knee injury in training for what will be his 122 pound debut, will take place at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan – this over two months on from when the fight would have happened.
Inoue, 24-0(21) is the challenger here yet his name is listed first as he is a megastar in his native Japan as well as being one of the top two or three pound-for-pound best active fighters in the world today. Fulton, also unbeaten, at 21-0(8) is hugely confident of getting the win in what he says he will not see as an upset. Fans were of course disappointed when the Inoue-Fulton fight was postponed but this fight will very likely prove to be one that was worth waiting for.
Inoue will now make his super-bantamweight debut whilst coming off a less than idea seven month absence from the ring, “The Monster” last having seen action in December when he finally caught up with a stopped a reluctant to engage Paul Butler, the late KO seeing Inoue pick up the final belt at 118 pounds, this the WBO title. Fulton may well suffer from ring rust in the Inoue fight, the Philadelphian not having boxed since June of 2022, this a UD win over Daniel Roman.
Obviously, it’s not a good thing that Fulton is stepping into the ring for such a big and important fight having had 13 months of inactivity. Inactivity in the ring, that is, Fulton will have been training as hard as can be in the gym, of that there is no doubt.
How the inactivity will affect Fulton is now a question, as is how that knee injury may or may not affect Inoue. Let’s hope both guys enter the ring ready and at 100 percent on July 25. This one could prove to be the hottest fight of the summer boxing schedule.