"The Monster" tears down.
Naoya Inoue is known as "The Monster" for a reason, and on Tuesday, he more than proved it.
After seven rounds of slowly wearing down Stephen Fulton, Inoue changed levels, rocked him with a right across the jaw, and dropped him flat on his back with a devastating left hook.
Inoue unleashed an assault of aggression in the form of unreturned punches to record an eighth-round TKO and become the new unified WBC and WBO junior featherweight world champion in front of his home fans inside the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, while Fulton climbed off the canvas in excruciating pain.
Inoue remarked in the ring after his electrifying performance, "All I was thinking about was fighting [Fulton] this year.
With the win, Inoue raises his record to 25-0 with 22 KOs and picks up two significant victories in his current quest to win the super bantamweight world championship. He also concedes Fulton's first defeat (21-1, 8 KOs).
By rapidly asserting his jab with pop early and using it to stitch together a number of combinations, Inoue effectively made the victory look simple. Fulton was unable to counter any of them. This occurred despite the fact that Inoue was the smaller man who had to gain weight.
As the fight progressed, Inoue's firepower only grew as he began to overwhelm Fulton with activity and precisely timed power punches, eventually stopping the fight in the eighth round.
Here is how the Inoue-Fulton main card was structured overall.
INOUE KOs Fulton in the eighth round to win the title of Unified Bantamweight!
3 hours, 6:09 PM
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Inoue strikes with one thrust and then another. Inoue delivers a left punch to the belly and a right hook to Fulton's jaw. Hurt Fulton! Inoue pursues him and uses a left hook to bury him. On his back, Fulton is flat on the ground. Goodness gracious! Fulton escapes the mat, but not without serious injuries! The referee intervenes to break up Inoue's barrage of blows on him. Inoue wins through technical knockout to claim the WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles!
Round 7, Round 3, at 6:06 PM on Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp
Inoue's check hook keeps Fulton at bay. But the champion strikes back with a hook that encircles Inoue's defense. At this point, Inoue rushes forward and briefly catches Fulton against the ropes. Inoue hits a right hand, but the champion responds with a left counterpunch. Although it was a close contest, Inoue ultimately prevailed. (69-64 Inoue; 10-9 Inoue)
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp 3h ago 06:02 FULTON VS. INOUE; ROUND 6
Inoue successfully countered with a cutting right over Fulton's jab. Inoue is moving and punching beautifully. Inoue just awes with a left-right-right uppercut combination. The four-punch combination lands with a boom, and Inoue continues to advance in the fight. Fulton misses with an overhand right and is struck in the face with a short left. (59-55 Inoue; 10-9 Inoue)
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp 3h ago 05:57 PM FULTON VS. INOUE; ROUND 5
Fulton must make better use of his movement because Inoue is now seriously putting these power combos together. Inoue's head springs back thanks to a left-right combo in Fulton's strongest work to yet. But Inoue fires back with a personal combination. And now Fulton strikes again with a precise right hand. (Fulton 10, 9; Inoue 46, 49)
Round 4, FULTON vs. INOUE, 05:52 a.m. Facebook Twitter Whatsapp
Inoue begins this round with two powerful punches to the head. Fulton is met by Inoue with a short left hook, and he may have elbowed the champion there as well. However, Fulton displays no signs of wear and tear as he leaps into a clean left hand to pelt Inoue. A right-left splits Fulton's defense, causing the champion to lose more blood from his nose. (Inoue, 10-9; Inoue, 40-36)
Facebook Twitter Whatsapp 3h ago 05:49 PM FULTON VS. INOUE; ROUND 3
Sharply countering, Fulton grazes Inoue with a left. However, Inoue is really picking up the pace as he connects with a right over the top of the champion before forcing him to quickly backpedal with a small left hook. Crisply from Inoue, a left to the body, right upstairs. Inoue is successfully using the body-head combination, and he does it quickly and precisely. He launches a right uppercut to end the round, and you can see blood streaming from the champion's nose. (Inoue, 10-9; Inoue, 30–27)
INOUE vs. FULTON; ROUND 2 3h ago
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Inoue pops open his right hand, follows up with a four-punch combo, and finishes with some crushing body work. Inoue is making progress in short bursts. Inoue nods asleep after being hit in the body by Fulton. Making every shot count, Inoue switches levels, moving from the body to the upper floor. As he pursues, Inoue double-jabs with his left and unleashes a stronger right. STEPHEN FULTON vs. NAOYA INOUE; ROUND 1 3 hours ago 05:40 PM (10-9 Inoue, 20-18 Inoue)
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As the two receive last-minute instructions prior to the opening bell, Fulton is the bigger man. The bell has rung, and we are now moving. Each fighter is using his lead leg to create ring space, and we can already see a struggle for space. To gain that space, they are virtually treading on one other. Inoue lands an up jab, and a short while later he follows that up with a powerful jab. Inoue becomes more animated as he pursues the champion. In the clinch, Inoue is still the more active fighter. (10-9 Inoue)