RUMOR MILL: Inoue vs Tapales Undisputed Fight To Land In Tokyo

Men's Boxing to Get Another Undisputed Champion in 2023?

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales targeting Tokyo for December
Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales targeting Tokyo for December | credit: Kyodo, Gallo Images

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapales Targeting December 26 in Tokyo

Next up for unified junior featherweight champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) is a matchup against the other unified champion in the division, Marlon Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs). Here’s the latest update on when and where that bout will occur.

According to the Filipino news outlet FastBreak PH, representatives for Inoue and Tapales are currently in negotiations. Their goal is to finalize the fight for December 26 of this year. The Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan is being targeted as a possible venue to stage the fight.


Inoue is coming off an impressive eighth-round stoppage over Stephen Fulton to capture the unified titles on July 25. Tapales was in attendance.

During the post-fight interview, Tapales entered the ring and challenged Inoue. Monster responded to Tapales with three simple words: “Let’s do this”.

Tapales captured the unified 122-pound belts with a split-decision victory over Murodjon Akhmadaliev on April 8. Soon after, Tapales let it be known that he wanted his shot at Monster. He will now get that opportunity. At stake will be the undisputed crown at junior featherweight.

Were Inoue to win, he would become just the second male fighter to become a two-weight undisputed champion in the four-belt era. If Tapales were to defeat Inoue, he would be the first fighter from the boxing-rich country of The Philippines to become an undisputed world champion. Stay tuned to for further updates.

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Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for