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Naoya Inoue Makes Boxing History with Second Undisputed Championship Victory




Naoya Inoue has once again etched his name in boxing history. The four-division titlist and high-ranking pound-for-pound boxer secured his second undisputed championship in just over a year with a dramatic eleventh-round knockout of the Philippines’ Marlon Tapales. The fight, which took place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, saw Inoue claim victory and unify the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO junior featherweight titles.


From the opening round of the Lemino/ESPN+ main event, Inoue showcased his composure and technical prowess. While Tapales fought defensively, Inoue's right hand began to find its mark in the second round, signaling trouble for his opponent. Despite Tapales' resilient defense, Inoue's relentless assault led to a knockdown in the fourth round, setting the tone for the rest of the fight.


Tapales showed moments of promise with his left hand in the fifth round, but Inoue quickly regained control, dominating the latter half of the fight with precise combinations and calculated aggression. As the rounds progressed, Inoue's superior skill became increasingly evident, culminating in a decisive tenth-round knockout that secured his undisputed championship victory.


For Tapales, the loss marked the end of his brief reign as the WBA/IBF junior featherweight champion. Despite his previous accomplishments, including a notable upset victory, Tapales was unable to withstand Inoue's relentless attack, falling to a record of 37-4 (19KOs) with the defeat.


In contrast, Inoue's undefeated record now stands at 26-0 (23KOs), solidifying his status as one of boxing's most formidable champions. His achievement of becoming Japan's first-ever two-division unified titlist just five months prior underscores his remarkable talent and determination.


Looking ahead, Inoue has expressed his intention to remain in the junior featherweight division for at least another year, with a mandatory title defense against WBC number-one contender Luis Nery likely on the horizon. With his latest victory, Inoue's legacy as a boxing legend continues to grow, cementing his place among the sport's all-time greats.

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