Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue has confirmed he will move up in weight to fight Philadelphia Stephen Fulton for the WBC and WBO junior-featherweight titles.
The pair of undefeated champions will meet at the Yokohama Arena in Japan on May 7, and Inoue is hoping to write his name into the history books once more, by becoming the fifth Asian fighter to win world titles in four weight classes.
Inoue is 24-0 with 21 stoppage wins while Fulton is 21-0 with eight inside the distance victories. Inoue won his first world title in 2014 when he knocked out Adrian Hernandez at light-flyweight, before making seven defenses of the junior-bantamweight title and then winning and unifying the bantamweight title. Inoue has vacated all four bantamweight belts to move up and challenge the Philadelphian.
Fulton turned professional in 2014, won the junior-featherweight title by defeating Angelo Leo in 2021 and then adding the WBC title with a win over Brandon Figueroa.
Inoue’s last fight was a one-sided 11th round stoppage of Liverpool’s Paul Butler in December, Fulton last fought in June, taking a decision over former unified champion Daniel Roman.
While Fulton is naturally bigger and will have height and reach advantages, the anticipated showdown with Inoue will be Fulton’s first fight outside the USA and Fulton would have been out of the ring for 11 months.