Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue | ESPN - July 25, 2023

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Who wins?

Poll ended at 25 Jul 2023, 17:32

Fulton - Decision
7
10%
Fulton - T/KO
0
No votes
DRAW
1
1%
Inoue - T/KO
51
76%
Inoue - Decision
8
12%
 
Total votes: 67

Ruthless-RKO
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Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue | ESPN - July 25, 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

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Naoya Inoue, Stephen Fulton agree to 122-pound title bout

Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue have agreed to terms for a unified 122-pound title fight in the spring in Japan, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

The fight for Fulton's WBC and WBO junior featherweights titles is being targeted for May, sources said, though a date has not been set. The bout will be streamed on ESPN+ in the morning stateside, according to sources. Inoue often fights on Tuesdays in Japan.

Fulton, 28, is ESPN's No. 1 boxer at 122 pounds. Inoue, who is a major star in Japan, is ESPN's No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer. Nicknamed "The Monster," Inoue unified all four 118-pound titles last month in Tokyo with an 11th-round KO of Paul Butler to capture the undisputed bantamweight championship.

Inoue, 29, announced on Friday that he will relinquish all four belts as he prepares to campaign at 122 pounds. A fight with Fulton will present an opportunity for Inoue to establish dominance in his new weight class right out of the gate.

Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) isn't simply the best fighter at 122 pounds; he's also one of the best regardless of weight. A fight featuring Fulton and Inoue is among the best matchups the sport can deliver.

Fulton, who hails from Philadelphia and has never fought outside of the United States, is promoted by PBC, while Inoue is co-promoted by Top Rank, two promotional companies who rarely do business with one another. However, Inoue's Japanese promoter, Mr. Honda, drives the direction of the three-division champion's career, especially when those fights are in Inoue's homeland.

Fulton told ESPN in June that he believed a fight with Inoue was "realistic" if Inoue moved up to 122 pounds in time.

"I don't shy away from big fights," Fulton said then. "A lot of people wanna see [me vs. Inoue]; a lot of people wanna talk about that as well.

"Had I been more known like Inoue," he added, "I'd be on that [pound-for-pound] list."

Fulton and Brandon Figueroa were on a collision course for a rematch at 126 pounds after the WBC ordered the matchup in November for its interim featherweight title. Fulton scored a majority-decision victory over Figueroa when they met in one of the best action fights of 2021.

But now that Fulton has turned his attention to the high-stakes matchup with Inoue, Figueroa is finalizing a deal to fight former featherweight titleholder Mark Magsayo on March 4, sources said.

Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) is one of the most dynamic fighters in all of boxing, a fighter with blinding speed who uses angles, punch variety and ring IQ to make quick work out of top contenders. He was involved in ESPN's 2019 Fight of the Year when he pushed through a broken nose and fractured orbital to outpoint Nonito Donaire.

Inoue left no doubt in the rematch last June when he scored a second-round TKO of the future Hall of Famer.

Against Fulton, Inoue will certainly meet his biggest -- and toughest -- challenge to date. Fulton is a career-long 122-pounder who can box from both the inside and outside and often throws upward of 1,000 punches in his fights.

Inoue, meanwhile, began his career at 108 pounds. Generational talents like Inoue often aren't pushed to the brink until they continue to move up in weight.

"The real battle starts from here," Inoue said last week.

Last edited by Ruthless-RKO on 18 Jul 2023, 03:25, edited 13 times in total.
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

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joshj909
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

Post by joshj909 »

As good of a fight you can make at the moment really between two unified champs that are #1 in their divisions and are both in their primes. Akhmadaliev has to be next for the winner.
Mexi-Box
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

Post by Mexi-Box »

joshj909 wrote: 18 Jan 2023, 18:24 As good of a fight you can make at the moment really between two unified champs that are #1 in their divisions and are both in their primes. Akhmadaliev has to be next for the winner.
Dude's resume is weak. I don't think anyone would care if the winner moved up to FW and skipped him. I'd only want the winner to stay and fight Casimiero (if he's solved his legal problems).
DrDuke
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

Post by DrDuke »

Great matchup. Fulton is real deal, but still I fancy the Japanese monster getting to Steph and scoring a kayo.
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

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Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

The fight is likely to land on ESPN+ and NOT on a PBC show.
SendoTakeshi
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by SendoTakeshi »

Great fight. Didn't see that coming at all.
For Inoue to go up in weight and figh the top dog after starting his career at Light-Fly is crazy.
Money is on Inoue, but it's gonna be his toughest fight for sure.
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »



Some big gates in Japan.
keithmoonhangover
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Who wins?

Post by keithmoonhangover »

Ruthless-RKO wrote: 18 Jan 2023, 17:40
Wasn't Bivol beating Canelo as impressive?
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

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Nightmare Roy
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Nightmare Roy »

Can't fault the Monster :yay: :box:
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

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Thomastearns
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Thomastearns »

Inoue doesn't seem to understand modern boxing.

He doesn't fail drug tests.

He's prepared to fight whoever's put before him.

He doesn't take years getting fights made, arguing forever over squeezing out every last dollar.

Or get embroiled in endless Twitter/social media slanging matches on who's avoiding who.

He doesn't mind traveling overseas for fights.

He even lives up to his nickname by dispatching his opponents to order instead of merely bragging that he will.

And now this, he's not willing to cherry pick and belt sit for the best part of a decade.

I don't know, what's boxing coming to...
joshj909
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by joshj909 »

Thomastearns wrote: 19 Jan 2023, 17:11 Inoue doesn't seem to understand modern boxing.

He doesn't fail drug tests.

He's prepared to fight whoever's put before him.

He doesn't take years getting fights made, arguing forever over squeezing out every last dollar.

Or get embroiled in endless Twitter/social media slanging matches on who's avoiding who.

He doesn't mind traveling overseas for fights.

He even lives up to his nickname by dispatching his opponents to order instead of merely bragging that he will.

And now this, he's not willing to cherry pick and belt sit for the best part of a decade.

I don't know, what's boxing coming to...
Some cultures celebrate ego's and arrogance over actual success while other cultures are more humble, hardworking and reserved. Give me 100 Inoue's over the US and British big-mouths any day of the week.
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

My biggest question mark on Inoue is that he completely skipped fighting those names at super fly.

He probably would have beaten them all tbh.

Shame we never got to see them fight.
squiggy
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by squiggy »

I agree exactly. I favor him in any of those matchups, but it bothers me that they never happened.
Ruthless-RKO
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

On where Inoue vs Fulton stands


“I don’t think anybody beats Inoue. ‘The Monster’ is ‘The Monster,’ and he’s ‘The Monster’ for a reason, and I’m really blessed to have pound-for-pound the three hardest punchers in boxing, and that’s Inoue, Beterbiev, and Tyson Fury.”

“All that business is handled by our partner in Japan. They’ll let us know when it’s put together, but I’m confident that it will be. I think April, they’re talking about.”
AngryGoon38
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by AngryGoon38 »

Thomastearns wrote: 19 Jan 2023, 17:11 Inoue doesn't seem to understand modern boxing.

He doesn't fail drug tests.

He's prepared to fight whoever's put before him.

He doesn't take years getting fights made, arguing forever over squeezing out every last dollar.

Or get embroiled in endless Twitter/social media slanging matches on who's avoiding who.

He doesn't mind traveling overseas for fights.

He even lives up to his nickname by dispatching his opponents to order instead of merely bragging that he will.

And now this, he's not willing to cherry pick and belt sit for the best part of a decade.

I don't know, what's boxing coming to...
Good post. I agree !

Inoue is a Real Man. Very Manly and unfretting. A throwback to the Macho Tough guy days of Boxing. He is a True Tough-Guy amongst a Sea full of Diva Girly Men talk-show businessman boxers.
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - Spring 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

Fulton: Al Haymon Gave Me The Blessing To Take Inoue Fight; I Need Some Excitement

Stephen Fulton Jr. embraced a rematch with Brandon Figueroa late last year because he wanted to silence skeptics who’ve questioned his victory in their 122-pound title unification fight.

Once Naoya Inoue announced that he would move up from bantamweight to junior featherweight, though, Fulton felt that was the fight he needed to pursue. Fulton still wants to face Figueroa again, but chasing greatness appealed more to the unbeaten WBC/WBO 122-pound champion.

Philadelphia’s Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) will travel to Inoue’s home country of Japan to battle the popular knockout artist who became the first fully unified bantamweight champion of the four-belt era in his last fight. Though the defending champion, securing this fight against Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) also required Fulton to work with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., Inoue’s co-promoter and a competitor of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

Fulton explained his decision during a recent appearance on “The Last Stand Podcast,” hosted by Showtime’s Brian Custer.

“I was in talks with Brandon Figueroa back in November, before the Inoue fight,” Fulton said. “And I was only gonna do that because, you know, to silence the critics. Everybody was talking. ‘Oh, it was a close fight and this person won, this person won, this one lost.’ So, I wanted to silence the critics.

“But after I heard that Inoue was moving up, I made the call to Luis De Cubas. And then we all got Al [Haymon] on the phone and we made it happen. Al gave me the blessing, and that’s something that I wanted to do. And I feel like that’s how my whole career went. Anything I wanted to do, Al allowed me to do that, as well as me wanting it for myself.”

Fulton was going to move up to the featherweight limit of 126 pounds to fight Figueroa again. He defeated Figueroa by majority decision in their 12-round, all-action fight for the WBC and WBO 122-pound crowns in November 2021 at Park MGM’s Dolby Live in Las Vegas.

With Fulton committed to boxing Inoue on a date to be announced in Japan, Figueroa (23-1-1, 17 KOs), of Weslaco, Texas, will face the Philippines’ Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KOs) for the WBC interim featherweight title March 4 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California (Showtime).

The 28-year-old Fulton admitted he is much more excited about boxing Inoue than he would’ve been had he committed to fighting Figueroa again.

“I need some excitement,” Fulton said. “I need some excitement. Nothing is exciting me no more. I feel like this is when I come alive. This is when I feel like everyone’s looking at me like, ‘Oh, his back is against the wall. Why is the champion going over to Japan?’ I called this fight back in 2021, 2020. I been said that. I said I’m gonna have to go to Japan and fight.

“I told my coach, ‘I’m gonna have to go to Japan to fight him.’ And he didn’t understand. He was like, ‘Man, why would you do that?’ Same thing. ‘Why would you do that?’ And I said, ‘That’s a big fight.’ I said, ‘Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.’ And now, look where we at.”
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - May 23, 2023

Post by Ruthless-RKO »

Will be at the Saitama Arena, on May 23rd.
margaret thatcher
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - May 23, 2023

Post by margaret thatcher »

nice, that got done fast , they dont play around :yay:

winner vs murodjohn :bag:
Las Vegas boxing guy
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Re: Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue - May 23, 2023

Post by Las Vegas boxing guy »

If Fulton can pull this off in Japan he would deserve a heroes welcome back. Something like this (below).

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