Jason Moloney predicts 10th round stoppage win for Naoya Inoue against Marlon Tapales

Naoya Inoue squares off with Marlon Tapales for the undisputed super bantamweight world championship tomorrow at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. 

Inoue attempts to become a two weight undisputed champion in just three fights. The Japanese superstar defeated Paul Butler with an eleventh round stoppage to claim all four belts at bantamweight one year ago. Tapales scored a split decision victory against Murodjon Akhmadaliev to become the IBF and WBA belt holder at 122 pounds. 

WBO bantamweight world champion Jason Moloney collided with Inoue just over three years ago. The Australian went seven rounds with the pound-4-pound star before being halted in Las Vegas for the unified world title. Having previously predicted Inoue’s last result against Stephen Fulton by the round for ProBox TV, we caught up with him ahead of the Boxing Day bash in the Japanese capital. 

“It is an interesting one,” Moloney said to ProBox TV. “Tapales’s victory over MJ was a good win against a guy who can punch. Again, I just don’t see anybody beating Inoue at that weight. I think Inoue is too good, too fast, too explosive and he’s smart too. I think people underestimate his boxing IQ and the way he controls the fight. He probably uses his speed and doesn’t really sit in front of Tapales all too much given that Tapales is a decent puncher. I think you might see a bit more boxing from Inoue in this fight, but eventually that explosiveness and the speed he has got, and the power obviously, is just going to shine through. I think he stops Tapales too, later in the fight. I’m going to call round ten on this one, the pressure is on. 

“I do rate Tapales as a fighter. He is strong and he is big. I think he will hang in there, but as the fight goes on Inoue will start to break him down and will start to land more and more eventually get to him and force the stoppage. I think Tapales is a harder fight than Fulton, I do think he can have a couple of moments against Inoue. He’s quite good, Tapales, but I don’t think he will be too much trouble. I just think he is good enough to hang in there and not wear too much punishment early, but eventually Inoue will get to him. I do see it as one of his toughest fights, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Inoue handles it and it is a pretty huge achievement to become undisputed at two weights within a year. That’s incredible.”

It has been heavily reported that Inoue will move up to featherweight if successful against Tapales.

“I don’t think he will,” Moloney added, “just going off the whispers that I’m hearing I think he will stay at 122 a while longer. Eventually he will move up to 126 and probably looks to become undisputed, he will have a resume that has never been seen before. That would be incredible if he can pull it off, which I think it will.”