Tapales, Inoue unification showdown officially set on Dec. 26 in Tokyo

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | October 25,2023 - 08:14 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 much-awaited unification showdown between Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales and Naoya “Monster” Inoue has been officially set on December 26, 2023, at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

This was posted on Top Rank and Ohashi Promotions’ social media pages and other popular boxing sites on Wednesday, October 25, 2023, nearly four-months after both boxers announced their intention to square off last July.

The Inoue-Tapales unification bout will be one of the biggest boxing events this year. 

READ: Tapales to fight Inoue in world title unification bout in Japan on Dec. 26

It pits Tapales’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) world and World Boxing Association (WBA) super world super bantamweight straps and Inoue’s World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) super bantamweight titles. 

Tapales is currently training in the United States, particularly in Las Vegas, at the Knuckleheads Boxing Gym of MP Promotions’ head Sean Gibbons. 

Meanwhile, Inoue is preparing as well in Japan. 

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

Tapales, a former WBO world bantamweight champion, captured the IBF and WBA straps after upsetting Murodjon Akhmadaliev last April in San Antonio, Texas via split decision. 

That put him back in the world champion’s list, eight years after becoming a world champion for the first time. Tapales unseated Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand in 2016 to wrest the WBO world bantamweight title. 

After that, Tapales who was once based in Cebu under Rex Wakee Salud Boxing Gym won seven of his eight bouts before dethroning Akhmadaliev. 

The 31-year-old Tapales of Tubod, Lanao, del Norte has a record of 37 wins, 19 knockouts and 3 defeats. 

READ: Naoya Inoue draws comparisons to Manny Pacquiao

Meanwhile, Inoue, 30, the former undisputed world bantamweight champion, eyes another milestone in his already spectacular boxing career. 

Inoue snagged the WBC and WBO world super bantamweight straps against erstwhile champion Stephen Fulton of the United States last July at the same venue where he and Tapales will square off.

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

He scored an eighth round technical knockout against Fulton, cementing his name as the best super bantamweight today.

He has an unblemished 25-0 (win-loss) record and 22 knockouts. One of the most prominent Filipinos Inoue defeated was Nonito Donaire Jr. 

He beat Donaire twice. In their rematch, he devastated Donaire with a second round TKO and went on unifying all four world titles by beating British Paul Butler in 2022. 

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TAGS: December 26, Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales, Naoya "Monster" Inoue, Tokyo, unification bout

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