Naoya Inoue will challenge Stephen Fulton for the unified WBO and WBC super-bantamweight world titles on May 7, live on Sky Sports.
After becoming the undisputed bantamweight champion Japanese star Inoue, one of the most fearsome punchers in world boxing, is now moving up a division to take on a fellow unbeaten fighter in America’s Fulton.
Philadelphia’s Fulton puts his WBC and WBO super-bantamweight titles on the line against Japan’s pound-for-pound king on Sunday, May 7 at the Yokohama Arena, live on Sky Sports in the early afternoon (UK time).
The showdown pits two of the world’s top fighters against one another, as Inoue aims to become only the fifth Asian boxer to win world titles in four weight classes.
Inoue, 24-0 (21), has gone 19-0 in world title fights with 17 of them coming by way of knockout.
His championship run started in 2014 when he knocked out Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light-flyweight world title.
He went on to rule the super-flyweight division with seven title defences, including a second-round stoppage over Omar Narvaez.
At bantamweight, Inoue became the division’s first undisputed champion in a half-century, stopping Emmanuel Rodriguez in two rounds to win the IBF strap, outlasting Nonito Donaire in a 2019 Fight of the Year to add the WBA belt, starching Donaire in the second round of their June 2022 rematch to snatch the WBC title, and stopping then-WBO champion Paul Butler in the 11th round.
Inoue vacated all four bantamweight titles to move up four pounds for his shot at ‘Cool Boy Steph’ Fulton.
Fulton, 21-0 (8), turned pro in 2014 and defeated five previously unbeaten prospects in his first 12 bouts.
In January 2021, he defeated Angelo Leo to capture the WBO super-bantamweight world title.
10 months later, he added the WBC belt to his collection with a majority decision over then-unbeaten Brandon Figueroa in one of the year’s most action-packed championship showdowns.
Fulton defended both titles last June with a one-sided unanimous decision over former unified world champion Daniel Roman.