Marlon Tapales-Naoya Inoue clash likely set for December 26
MANILA, Philippines–Marlon Tapales looks to end the year with a bang when he takes on Naoya Inoue in their undisputed super bantamweight showdown likely set for December 26 in Tokyo, Japan.
Tapales, who holds the WBA (Super) and IBF belts, will vie to become the first undisputed Filipino champion in the four-belt era.
The 31-year-old Tapales (37-3, 19KOs), however, faces a stringent challenge in his pursuit of history.
Inoue has yet to be beaten in 25 fights with most of his opponents not lasting the distance.
Less than three months ago, Inoue made easy work of the highly-touted Stephen Fulton, who was stopped in the eighth round at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
Tapales was in attendance during the bout and even shared the ring with Inoue shortly after the Japanese pound-for-pound king’s bout.
The victory earned Inoue the WBC and WBO titles just seven months after unifying all the belts at bantamweight with an 11th-round TKO win over Paul Butler.
Tapales, meanwhile, became a two-belt champion after outpointing Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev last April in San Antonio, Texas.
The Tubod, Lanao del Norte native is 4-0 when fighting in Japan.