Why Naoya Inoue Will Defeat Stephen Fulton



Why Naoya Inoue Will Defeat Stephen Fulton

On Tuesday, July 25, the eyes of the boxing world will be on the Ariake Arena in Tokyo as super bantamweight kingpin Stephen Fulton (21-0, 8KOs, from Philadelphia) takes his titles on the road in a defence against Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21KOs, Kanagawa Prefecture).

Inoue, a three weight world champion, will be contesting his first fight in the 122 pound division after becoming undisputed bantamweight champion last year.

Both boxers deserve credit for seeking out the toughest challenge. It's a hard fight to call, but I'm giving the edge to Inoue.

Stephen Fulton v Naoya Inoue on July 25

Naoya Inoue has the edge versus Stephen Fulton, in the mind of Colin Morrison.

Here's why:

First of all, Inoue is making the move up at the correct time. He was beginning to show signs that making 118 was weakening him; his last bout at that weight class in December saw him looking a bit flat footed as he chased Paul Butler around the ring.

I expect Inoue to have an extra bounce in his step as he matches footwork with the exceptional Fulton.

Reasons Why Naoya Inoue Has The Edge Over Fulton

This will allow Naoya Inoue to counter Fulton's defensive movement as he finds the angles to cut off Fulton's lanes of escape.

A few rounds into the contest, Inoue will have established the upper hand on the deck. This will allow the home fighter to land some of his patented body shots which will further slow Fulton down as the fight progresses.

Fulton's best tactic may be to try and win the fight at range, but Inoue's timing as Fulton looks to disengage and reset will frustrate the American boxer, resulting in a more close quarters battle.

We've seen this before from Fulton against Angelo Leo and Brandon Figueroa.

Yes, Inoue Can Stop the “Bigger” Man

Once this happens in Tuesday's contest, Naoya Inoue can stop his foe. With range no longer an issue, the shorter Inoue will be able to land his precise combinations to head and body.

Not every shot Inoue throws is filled with his notorious power. He is masterful at letting the blockbusting shots go at just the right moments.

Due to Fulton's physicality, style and skills it might take Inoue every one of the 36 minutes of the fight to get the win over Fulton.

With Fulton tiring after absorbing punishment in the closing quarter of the fight, I can see Inoue landing enough heavy leather in the final round to force a TKO.

Fulton will leave Japan with the respect and admiration of boxing fans everywhere, Naoya Inoue will have another couple of titles to his name after recording the best win of his career so far.

A boxing fan since his teenage years, Morrison began writing about the sport in July 2016. He appreciates all styles of boxing and has nothing but respect for those who get in the ring for our entertainment. Morrison is from Scotland and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.