• Marlon Tapales

    • w 37
    • ko 19
    • L 3
    • D 0
  • 26 December 2023



    • w 25
    • ko 22
    • L 0
    • D 0

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What better way to celebrate Boxing Day than with a historic showdown between two world champions, Naoya Inoue and Marlon Tapales, vying for the undisputed super bantamweight title? This exciting bout was officially confirmed at the WBO’s annual convention last month and was recently announced by Top Rank.

In this highly anticipated match, the undefeated Inoue, who has already made his mark as the undisputed bantamweight champion, will put his WBC and WBO 122-pound titles on the line against Tapales, the holder of the IBF and WBA versions. Boxing fans can mark their calendars for December 26 when these two champions clash in Tokyo for a thrilling 12-round contest, along with a stacked undercard.

To catch all the action, you can tune in to ESPN+ for a special early morning presentation.

Inoue, with a record of 25-0 and an impressive 22 knockouts, is coming off a spectacular eighth-round stoppage victory over the previously unbeaten American fighter, Stephen Fulton, in July. This bout marked Inoue’s super bantamweight debut, and he showcased that his power transitioned seamlessly to the new weight class. As a result, he now boasts four world titles in different divisions. A win against Tapales would elevate Inoue to the esteemed ranks of two-division undisputed champions, joining the likes of Terence Crawford and Claressa Shields.

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had high praise for Inoue, calling him a sensational fighter and an all-time great in the prime of his career. He acknowledged that the upcoming challenge against Marlon Tapales would be tough but expressed confidence in Inoue’s ability to excel.

Marlon Tapales, with a record of 37-3 and 19 knockouts, is no stranger to championship glory, having held titles in two weight classes. His remarkable journey included an underdog victory against then-unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev in Texas last April, where he secured a hard-fought split decision win. Now, this victory has opened the door to the biggest opportunity of his career, as he prepares to face Inoue in what promises to be an electrifying clash. Boxing fans can look forward to an unforgettable match on Boxing Day, pitting two exceptional fighters against each other.

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  • Winner