Inoue: 'I am the strongest fighter in the divison' following Fulton victory as four-weight world champion targets Tapales for undisputed showdown

Newly crowned and unified super-bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue has not hidden his intentions in wanting to pursue an opportunity to become a two-time undisputed world champion following his brutal and impressive showing against Stephen Fulton in becoming a four-weight world champion.

Inoue, who was making his debut at super-bantamweight, stepped up immediately to the world title level of the division and faced Fulton in Tokyo, Japan, with the boxing world’s attention and expectation firmly focusing on the man appropriately nicknamed “The Monster.”

Fulton would fall to the first defeat of his career against Inoue, with the contest being halted in the eighth round after being knocked down earlier following a body shot. Fulton would rise to his feet; however the end was nigh as Inoue stepped on the accelerator and forced the stoppage following an unanswered combination of punches in the corner. Ultimately, this left referee Hector Afu with no other option but to conclude the contest, with Fulton already returning to the canvas for the second time in the round.

Speaking immediately post-fight (In Japanese), Inoue was ultimately relieved to finally face Fulton following an injury which delayed the contest by two months after being slated to take place in May.

“Everything I was thinking about this year was to fight him and become a four-division champion,” Inoue said after the fight. “Unfortunately, I hurt myself in training camp and had to wait.”

“Last year, I became an undisputed champion and returned all the belts to become a super-bantamweight. Everything I was thinking about in my mind was to fight him [Fulton] earlier this year, but unfortunately, I got injured and had to postpone the fight. I’m sorry to my team, and to Fulton’s team, but thank you for accepting this fight once again,

Inoue continued to add that he feel’s that he is the best fighter currently in the super-bantamweight division following his victory over Fulton.

“The style of the fight was full of speed and power. Even so, it was my first fight in the super-bantamweight class, so I could see that it would be good to do this in practice. There are still ways to make the weight properly, and i can still improve as a fighter.

“I defeated Fulton tonight, who i thought was the strongest fighter in the division. I believe now i am the strongest fighter in the division, but i only want to have two belts right now.”

Inoue was eluding that he wants to face the WBA & IBF world super-bantamweight world champion, Marlon Tapales, who dethroned previous unified world champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April of this year.

Both fighters currently have no ongoing mandatory commitments at the time of publication and would be available to fight each other without interference from the world governing bodies.

Taples, who was present ringside to witness Inoue’s victory, responded respectfully to being asked by the local broadcaster in the ring if he wished to face Inoue.

“I want to fight Inoue because he is a great champion.”

Inoue was a lot more direct in his intentions that he wished to secure himself an opportunity to become a two-time, two-weight undisputed champion.

“Let’s do this this year,” the newly crowned WBC and WBO titlist replied.