Naoya Inoue is already a folk-hero, and cultural icon for Japan, who is approaching hall-of-fame status, but the best 118 lbs fighter of the era, stopped WBO champion Paul Butler in the 11th round to become the undisputed bantamweight world champion of the world.
“I have always pictured myself becoming the first Japanese undisputed champion,” Inoue told Jake Donovan of BoxingScene.com. “I wanted a unification fight to become the undisputed champion when I was fighting at Super Flyweight.”
The bout which aired live in the United States at 6 PM EST on ESPN+, saw Inoue’s seemingly goodbye to the 118 lbs division, as he had to try two times to make the contracted weight of 118 lbs pounds.
“I’m happy that I have this opportunity to become undisputed champion at bantamweight,” noted Inoue. “Once I am successful, I aim to do the same at (122).”