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Naoya Inoue's fight against Fulton Jr postponed because of Inoue's hand injury

A highly anticipated battle has been postponed on the boxing calendar.

Media outlets have verified that Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue withdrew from his bout for the 122-pound championship against Stephen Fulton Jr. due to an undisclosed injury he sustained during training camp. Inoue, who three months ago became boxing's fully unified bantamweight champion, moved up to the junior featherweight category in preparation to face Fulton on May 7 at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan, where Fulton holds the WBC and WBO 122-pound titles.

Tuesday, Philadelphia's Fulton tweeted a confirmation that their fight would be rescheduled.

Inoue's injury led to a postponement, as first reported by Mike Coppinger, who said Tuesday that Fulton-Inoue will now take place this summer.

Inoue, 29, is frequently regarded as one of boxing's best three fighters, pound-for-pound (24-0, 21 KOs). He became the first undisputed 118-pound champion of the four-belt period of boxing on December 13 when he knocked out Englishman Paul Butler (34-3, 15 KOs) in the eleventh round.

While Inoue heals from his injury, the 28-year-old Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) will have to stretch his layoff period to more than a year. In his most recent fight, which took place on June 4 at The Armory in Minneapolis, Fulton comfortably outboxed former WBA 122-pound champion Daniel Roman (29-4-1, 10 KOs) en route to a 12-round unanimous decision victory.

After defeating Roman, Fulton thought about stepping up to the 126-pound featherweight limit for a fight with Brandon Figueroa. Fulton, however, told Premier Boxing Champions president Al Haymon that he preferred this career-defining fight against Inoue over a rematch with Figueroa once the Inoue fight became a viable option.

The 12-round, 122-pound title unification battle between Fulton and Figueroa (24-1-1, 18 KOs) took place in November 2021 at Park MGM's Dolby Live in Las Vegas. Fulton won by majority decision.


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