Naoya Inoue stops Paul Butler, wins undisputed bantamweight championship

Naoya Inoue defeated Englishman Paul Butler today in Tokyo to completely unify the 118-pound division championship. After dominating through ten rounds, Inoue dropped Butler with a barrage of unanswered punches in the eleventh. Referee Bence Kovacs reached the count of ten and the destruction was complete.

It was another “Monster” performance from Inoue (24-0, 21 knockouts), who became the first Japanese undisputed champion since the dawn of the multi-belt era.

“This is the proudest moment of my career,” Inoue said immediately after the bout.

“I am honored to become undisputed champion,” he added. “This was my last fight at this weight. I am excited to see what is in store at junior featherweight.”

Butler (34-3, 15 KOs) was game throughout, but simply had no answers against one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best. He was defensive and unwilling to engage for most of the fight, prompting taunts from Inoue at times. If there was a silver lining for Butler, it’s that he came only the second man to take Inoue into the championship rounds since moving up to the bantamweight division over four years ago.

According to CompuBox, Inoue landed 151 of 665 total punches (23%), while Butler connected on just 38 of 301 (13%). Inoue was ahead 100-90 on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage.

The Inoue vs Butler fight was broadcast live on ESPN+ in the United States.