Inoue To Team Fulton: “I’m Following The Rules! Just Fight!”

Naoya Inoue Responds To Stephen Fulton's Trainer

Collage of Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton
Naoya Inoue (Credit: Toru Takahashi/AP) | Stephen Fulton

Inoue Responds To Allegations Of Being A Dirty Fighter

Controversy has crept into the highly-anticipated July 25 showdown between unified junior featherweight champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) and multi-divisional champion Naoya “Monster” Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs). Much of the controversy has been aimed at Inoue, who is now speaking out and refuses to have his name and reputation tarnished.


TeamFulton made headlines during a recent press event when they charged Inoue with fighting with illegal hand wraps and threatened to pull out of the fight. Well, Inoue is taking time to defend himself. The Japanese superstar has responded to the allegations with a series of posts on social media.

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Naoya Inoue Responds Cheating Allegations_2
Naoya Inoue responds to Team Fulton

Fulton vs Inoue has been talked about since the summer of 2022 when Inoue first expressed an interest in fighting the unified 122-pound champion. Fulton had an equal desire to fight the Monster. Cool Boy Steph bypassed an opportunity to fight for the WBC Interim belt at 126lbs in order to face Inoue.

To accuse anyone of fighting with illegal hand wrapping is a serious allegation. Boxing observers have had quite the heated back-and-forth debate on social media and on various boxing message boards. Normally one of the coolest customers in the business, it speaks to the severity of the charge for Inoue to go out of his way to respond in this manner. 

It also says that the allegations may have gotten under Inoue’s skin. That could backfire on Fulton. The last time Inoue entered a fight ticked off was in his May 2019 bantamweight unification showdown with Emmanuel Rodriguez. At the weigh-in, a member of Rodriguez’s camp shoved a member of Inoue’s camp. Fueled with rage, Inoue destroyed Rodriguez, taking him out in two rounds.

Will we see a similarly angry Inoue when he steps into the ring with Fulton? At the very least, it adds some extra spice to one of the best matches of this year.

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About Mike W.1959 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for