Tapales to Inoue: Let’s fight, unify our world boxing titles

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | July 26,2023 - 03:53 PM

Marlon Tapales (left) and Naoya Inoue (right) pose inside the ring at the Ariake Arena in Japan. | Screen grab from Top Rank's Twitter video

Marlon Tapales (left) and Naoya Inoue (right) pose inside the ring at the Ariake Arena in Japan. | Screen grab from Top Rank’s Twitter video

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight champion Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales officially challenged Japanese boxing sensation Naoya “Monster” Inoue for a unification world title showdown on Tuesday evening, July 25, 2023. 

Tapales, who snagged the two world titles earlier this year against erstwhile champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev in San Antonio, Texas, told Inoue after the latter’s masterful performance in Tokyo, Japan that he wants to fight him to prove himself as a champion. 

READ: World champ Tapales eyes historic feat

Inoue to Tapales: Let’s do this!

“I want to fight Naoya Inoue. I want to prove to myself that I’m a champion,” said Tapales when he passed with a microphone while sharing the ring with Inoue during the awarding. 

Inoue easily defeated erstwhile WBC and WBO world super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton of the United States via an eight-round technical knockout at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, elevating his name as the top pound-for-pound boxer in the world. 

Inoue simply replied, “let’s do this.” 

READ: Naoya Inoue draws comparisons to Manny Pacquiao

Undisputed bantamweight world champ

The 31-year-old Tapales is one of the many Filipino boxers chasing after Inoue’s titles since the latter’s reign as an undisputed bantamweight world champion.

The other Filipino contender was former world champion John Riel Casimero who is the current WBO Global super bantamweight champion.

However, Tapales is the closest Filipino boxer he will likely get into a collision course this year. 

READ: Tapales world title shot against champ Akhmadaliev a done deal — promoter

More experienced than Inoue on paper

In earlier posts, Tapales already showed his intent to fight Inoue after announcing that he would sit at ringside in the latter’s bout against Fulton.

His wish truly came true when he was allowed to step into the ring and share Inoue’s glorious moment. 

The 31-year-old Tapales is formerly based in Cebu under Rex Wakee Salud (RWS) Stable and now currently fights with Sanman Boxing Gym and Knucklehead of Sean Gibbons.

On paper, he is more experienced than Inoue, with 37 wins, 19 knockouts and three defeats. The Tubod, Lanao del Norte native, was also a former WBO world bantamweight champion in 2016. 

READ: Naoya Inoue stops Stephen Fulton, wins world titles in his 4th weight class

Inoue, unbeaten in 25 fights

Meanwhile, Inoue, 30, doesn’t require a lengthy introduction since he’s now one of the most popular boxers in the world. 

Before moving up to the super bantamweight division, Inoue unified the WBO, WBC, IBF, and WBA world bantamweight titles last year by defeating Nonito Donaire Jr. and Paul Butler.

It cemented his legendary status as one of Japan’s most successful boxers with an unbeaten 25 wins with 22 knockouts. 

Despite the skepticism that Inoue was just pure hype, he proved on Tuesday evening that he was indeed the real deal when he knocked out Fulton in the eighth round. 

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TAGS: IBF, Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales, Naoya "Monster" Inoue, WBA, WBC, WBO

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