Naoya Inoue has been looking ahead to his super-bantamweight encounter with Stephen Fulton on the 25th of July as he aims to become a four-weight world champion and unified world champion in the process. Fulton’s WBC and WBO world titles will be on the line in one of the most competitive fights slated on paper at world level so far in 2023.
Inoue spoke at his media workout, which took place at the Ohashi Gym in Yokohama, and insisted that he was in perfect form and condition ahead of his encounter with the undefeated Fulton.
Despite being the smaller fighter than Fulton, Inoue is currently the leading betting favourite due to Inoue’s knockout percentage, which is almost treble in value compared to Fulton’s. Despite leading the odds with bookmakers and in public opinion, Inoue does not feel any pressure from what is expected of him and maintains that he is as fired up as he had ever been despite officially being the challenger to Fulton, a position which Inoue has not found himself in since 2018 when he defeated Jamie McDonnell inside a round to claim the WBA world bantamweight title.
“I have absolutely nothing to be anxious about,” Inoue said. “As the challenger for the first time in a while, I’m as fired up as I’ve ever been.”
Naoya is aiming to join his countryman Kazuto Ioka and be only the second Japanese fight to win world titles in four weight classes. Ioka would achieve that particular feat in 2019.
Ultimately Inoue believes that the move to super-bantamweight is finally the right move for his career, having achieved so much within twenty-four fights as a professional to date.
“My work is going well,” Inoue said. “I’m handling the preparations. I am thinking super bantam is the best weight for me.”