Naoya Inoue, the WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue and IBF titleholder Marlon Tapales both weighed in under the 122-pound limit for their unification bout on Tuesday at Ariake Arena.
Undefeated Japanese icon Inoue (25-0-0, 22 KOs) was up first and tipped the scale at 121 and 3/4 lbs.
He looked composed in front of the mass of media which he’s more than accustomed to on home soil.
Underdog Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs), who had a significant entourage with him, completed his part, weighing 121 1/4 pounds. The Filipino was not fazed when he came face-to-face with the all-conquering pound-for-pound superstar in Yokohama.
After a brief face-off, Inoue and Tapales shook hands and both men posed for the media and both while holding one title on each shoulder in front of Top Rank supremo Bob Arum.
All four crowns and undisputed Super Bantamweight status will be on the line on the Ohashi Promotions show which airs on ESPN+ in America.
A media scrum then gathered to quiz Inoue who is boxing at his happy hunting ground of Ariake – 50km from his home city of Zama in Kanagawa – for his third fight in a row.
“No matter how the match goes, I want to come out the winner,” said Inoue.
“If the chance comes, I want to finish it off.
“It’s going to be a historic match,” he added before saying that he wants his home crowd to see him with four titles once again.
A generational talent, Inoue, whose face adorns promotional banners throughout the city’s major train stations, has earned superstar status in his homeland after capturing titles in four divisions.
Inoue unified the four leading bantamweight titles at the same venue a year ago against gusty Brit Paul Butler and now has the opportunity to match that feat in the super bantamweight division.
The Monster dismantled Stephen Fulton last time out in July while Tapales – who is riding a four-fight winning-streak since his loss to Inoue’s compatriot Ryosuke Iwasa in 2019 – earned a split decision victory over Uzbek Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April.
Stay tuned to NYFights for ringside coverage from Inoue v Tapales.