A UNIFICATION fight between Filipino super bantamweight unified world champion Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales against newly-crowned World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue could be scheduled for December.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum confirmed the coming fight to BusinessMirror on Wednesday adding that the duel will be at the Tokyo Dome.
Tapales, Arum and international matchmaker Sean Gibbons were at ringside at the Ariake Arena where Inoue became a world champion in his fourth weight class Tuesday night by stopping American Stephen Fulton in the eighth round.
“[Marlon] Tapales is a big puncher, very, very strong and fast, and it’s going to be a sensational fight,” Arum, 91, said. “[Naoya] Inoue is a great fighter but Tapales is also a great fighter so it’s going to be a 50-50 fight for both.”
“Inoue looked very tremendous after the fight, but Tapales was there and he thinks that he can compete with Inoue. Tapales wants the fight,” Arum said. “We can put 50,000 people in their unification fight here in Japan.”
Tapales told the crowd that he wanted to fight Inoue to prove to himself that he’s worthy of being a world champion.
Tapales (37-3 record with 19 knockouts) is the reigning International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association super bantamweight champion. He beat Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan via split decision last April to seize the belts.