One of the most intriguing, and possibly explosive, fights of the year will take place at the Yokohama Stadium in Japan on May 7, as former four-belt bantamweight king Naoya Inoue will invade the 122 pound division by taking on two-belt ruler Stephen Fulton. The fight will go out in the early morning hours US time, this live on ESPN+ And this fight should be one well worth getting up early for (as a UK fan, here’s hoping the fight gets an outlet on this side of the pond!)
Inoue, perfect at 24-0(21) and one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters on the planet today, will be looking to add to his already stacked resume/legacy with a win over Fulton, who will be looking to keep hold of his WBC and WBO belts in what will be his very first fight outside of the US. So it will be new stuff for both fighters; Inoue will be looking to see if his speed and withering punching power travel up in weight with him, while Fulton will be facing a hostile crowd (although Japanese fans are known for being extremely polite when attending a fight).
Fulton of Philly is not a big puncher, as his 21-0(8) record shows, but he is immensely skilled, he is fast, and he has a ton of heart and self belief. Fulton is adamant he will get the win, that he is not in any way going over there feeling intimidated. It should be quite an event on May 7, with the cavernous Yokohama Stadium, capacity 17,000, almost certain to be jam-packed on the night.
Inoue is of course nothing but an absolute superstar in Japan, while he is well known to fans all over the globe. Fulton is going overseas in search of an upset win that would propel him into another bracket as far as fame and reputation go.
Will Inoue score himself another KO or stoppage, or might Fulton’s skills and toughness force Inoue to battle to the final bell? The way Fulton tells it, he will be the winner, and that it will not be an upset win in his mind.
There are a number of potential big fights that may or may not be coming to us this year; fights that are not yet signed. Inoue-Fulton is now official and fans of “The Monster” cannot wait.