Naoya Inoue was crowned a four weight world champion today, after a stunning eighth round knockout victory over Stephen Fulton to claim the WBC and WBO super bantamweight world titles.
In what many expected to be the toughest test of his career to date, Inoue dominated proceedings from start to finish at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.
Inoue’s place as the greatest Asian fighter on the planet was in no doubt before today’s bout, and the one of the last men to hold that accolade has came in with some high praise for ‘The Monster.’
Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, who Inoue has occasionally been compared to, took to his official Twitter account to give the Zama native his flowers, describing him as a “special fighter.”
“Inoue has great speed and lots of power behind his punches. He’s a special fighter!“
Inoue has great speed and lots of power behind his punches. He’s a special fighter! #InoueFulton
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) July 25, 2023
Though Inoue was a betting favourite going into the fight, few expected him to make such light work of Fulton – an undefeated, unified world champion with a host of physical advantages.
All roads now appear to lead to an undisputed clash with WBA and IBF world champion Marlon Tapales, who took to the ring and shook hands with Inoue for a fight later in the year.
If that bout does get finalised, Inoue would have the chance to become undisputed at a second weight class – a feat never achieved in the four belt era – in the space of less than 12 months.
Though pound for pound lists are subjective, there is now not a boxing fan alive who could deny Inoue his place as one of the best fighters in the entire sport.