It’s official: Stephen Fulton Jr will head to Japan to defend his pair of 122 lb titles in opposition to Naoya Inoue on Sunday, Could 7, with ESPN+ streaming the struggle in the USA.
Inoue (24-0, 21 KO) might be making his 122 lb debut after going undisputed at bantamweight along with his December knockout win over Paul Butler in Tokyo. The 29-year-old “Monster” is seen by many as the highest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing at this time — together with our website’s rankings — and has gained world titles at 108, 115, and 118 lbs.
Fulton (21-0, 8 KO) might transform the hardest problem of his profession, with due respect to future Corridor of Famer Nonito Donaire and different high quality opponents Inoue has confronted. Fulton is a real prime 122 lb fighter, holds the WBC and WBO titles, and like Inoue, has among the finest jabs within the sport — it’s possible you’ll even imagine they’re the 2 finest jabbers in boxing, and it’s not a foul argument.
This struggle got here collectively after Fulton, 28, selected to push for a struggle with Inoue reasonably than shifting as much as featherweight for a rematch with Brandon Figueroa, who simply beat Mark Magsayo this previous Saturday.
It’s a daring and massively admirable transfer by Fulton, who put apart any potential promotional points between PBC and Prime Rank to go after a giant struggle on the street in opposition to one of many sport’s prime names. And it’s massive for Inoue, clearly, and likewise an actual problem. Irrespective of how nice they’re, when fighters hold going up and up in weight, they at all times meet a wall.
Will 122 and Fulton be Inoue’s wall? I can’t wait to seek out out.