((WATCH>>STREAMS!)) Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales Live Free Online Broadcast 26 December 2023
Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales: Live streams, results, video highlights, fight card, start time. Naoya Inoue, The Monster, is here to usher in the New Year for fight fans. In Tokyo, on Boxing Day, he takes on Marlon Tapales in an attempt to become the undisputed super bantamweight champion. The 25-0 Inoue is, of course, already the undisputed bantamweight champion.
He picked up the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles in July, with an eight round destruction of Stephen Fulton.
Tapales come into this fight with a 37-3 record. He won the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles in April with a split decision win over Murodjon Akhmadaliev. He is a former WBO bantamweight champion.
Naoya Inoue bids to become a two-weight undisputed king as he faces Marlon Tapales in Tokyo, with all the marbles at 122 pounds on the line.
Date: Dec. 26
Location: Ariake Arena -- Tokyo
Start time: 3 a.m. ET (Main event around 6 a.m. ET)
How to watch: ESPN+
Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales fight card
Naoya Inoue (c) vs. Marlon Tapales (c) for the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF super bantamweight titles
Seiya Tsutsumi vs. Kazuki Anaguchi; Bantamweights
Kanamu Sakama vs. John Paul Gabunilas; Flyweights
Yoshiki Takei vs. Mario Diaz Maldonado; Super Bantamweights
Andy Hiraoka vs. Sebastian Diaz Maldonado; Super Lightweights
Suguru Ishikawa vs. Fuga Uematsu; Featherweights
Rikiya Sato vs. Keisuke Endo; Super Featherweights
The Japanese superstar can join Terence Crawford as the only male fighters in the four-belt era to become undisputed champion of the world in two weight classes, having already cleaned up at bantamweight last year.
Standing in the way of the pound-for-pound phenom (25-0, 22 KOs) on Boxing Day is Tapales of the Philippines (37-3, 19 KOs), who collected his WBA Super and IBF straps by defeating Murodjon Akhmadaliev on a split decision in April of this year.
Inoue has also fought once in 2023 for the WBO and WBC belts, dismantling Stephen Fulton inside eight rounds in July.
4:05 p.m. ET/ 6:05 p.m JST: Hiraoka finishes the job in round five. Having previously appeared reluctant to mix it too much on the inside with his Mexican foe, Hiraoka switched his attack to the body decisively. The stoppage felt a bit premature if we look at the concluding moments in isolation, but that fight was only going one way. During his post-fight interview, Hiraoka reverts to English from Japanese and tells "all the champions at 140, I'm coming for you, mate."
4:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m JST: Halfway through this scheduled eight-rounder and it's pretty much one-way traffic. Hiraoka caught Diaz cold in the opener, flooring him with a lead right hook. The home fighter's variety with his lead hand out of the southpaw stance has been very impressive and a defining feature of the fight. A frustration was Hiraoka's apparently reluctance to make his superiority truly tell after round one but, towards the end of the fourth he unloaded some brutal combinations with the increasingly forlorn Diaz against the ropes.
3:40 p.m. ET/ 5:40 p.m JST: Next up we have Inoue's stablemate Andy Hiraoka, a 22-0 super lightweight contender who is boxing for the first time this year. Hiraoka is now working under the watchful eye of Shingo Inoue, having previously been based in America to be coached by Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Roger Mayweather. Mexico's Sebastian Diaz is in the other corner against the rangy southpaw.
Naoya Inoue is looking to close out 2023 with style when he attempts to become undisputed champion for the second time in his career, this time at super bantamweight, when he faces Marlon Tapales on Tuesday in Tokyo.
Inoue will be bringing the WBC and WBO titles he won in one of the year's best performances, dominating Stephen Fulton before scoring a stoppage in the eighth round. The Fulton fight was Inoue's first at the weight, having moved up after a December 2022 stoppage win over Paul Butler that secured Inoue the WBO bantamweight title to go undisputed at 118 pounds.
Inoue has not fought a non-title fight since defeating Adrian Hernandez to capture the WBC junior flyweight title in April 2014, the sixth fight of Inoue's pro career. Since then, he has continued moving up weight divisions, taking his shocking power with him all the way from 108 to 122 pounds, with 22 knockouts during his undefeated 25-0 career.
Tapales is no stranger to big fights and is coming off an upset victory over Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April to win the IBF and WBA world titles. That win wasn't without some controversy as one of the three scorecards turned in was 118-110 in favor of Akhmadaliev, who may have been more deserving of the win.
This is the second run as world champion in Tapales' career, having defeated Shohei Omori in 2017 to win the WBO bantamweight title. He has drifted between weight classes since that first title win before securing the fight with Akhmadaliev.
The undercard features more matchups in the lower weight classes. Seiya Tsutsumi is set to take on Kazuki Anaughci in a bantamweight contest. Flyweights Kanamu Sakama and John Paul Gabunilas are set to duke it out on the main card as well. Plus, Yoshiki Takei is set to take on Mario Diaz Maldonado at super bantamweight in a featured bout.
Pound-for-pound favorite Naoya Inoue bids to become a two-division undisputed champion when he faces Marlon Tapales in a bantamweight unification fight on December 26. The fight and event in the Ariake Arena in Japan airs on ESPN+ in the U.S.
At 30, Inoue is a four-division world champion. He beat Paul Butler a year ago to become the undisputed bantamweight champion. In his last fight in July, Inoue decimated Stephen Fulton to win the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles. If he wins, Inoue will join Terence Crawford as the only male fighters to be undisputed in two divisions.
"It's a super huge bout," Inoue said via The Mainichi. "It took me more than four years to collect the four bantamweight belts. It feels as if I'm making up for the lost time of the pandemic at a tremendous pace. I'll increase my concentration level further and get myself into perfect condition. I want to get to a place no future Japanese will think of reaching.
Tapales turned pro in 2008. The Filipino southpaw bat Panya Uthok in 2016 for the WBO bantamweight belt. He wouldn't hold gold again until April 2023, beating Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the IBF and WBA titles. Despite being the underdog, “Nightmare” is more than ready for The Monster.