In what should be a showdown for the ages in the bantamweight division, WPA (Super), WBC, IBF, and The Ring champion, Naoya Inoue, faces WBO champion, Paul Butler. Scheduled as a unification match at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, and billed as “Undisputed,” this showdown has some history riding behind it as well. This contest will help determine a new undisputed champion for the weight class since 1972. Inoue is currently undefeated at 23-0, while the “Baby Faced Assassin” Butler is 34-2 with an impressive 15 knockouts.
For this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each fighter, the predicted winner of the contest, and also some other thoughts and notes about boxing betting.
A three-time division world champion and also the championship holder for four different titles (WBA (Super), IBF, The Ring, and the WBC), Inoue is known as “The Monster” for a reason. Known for his tremendous timing, punching power, and his impeccable knockout percentage of 87%, not many competitors can hang with the Japanese dynamo in the ring. He is also the only Japanese fighter in history to be ranked as the No. 1 pound-for-pound competitor by The Ring. With an undefeated career record of 23-0 and 20 knockouts, the 29-year-old is a fantastic competitor to watch.
A fighter with generational talent from his country, Inoue is definitely a problem for many fighters in the ring and is able to deter many foes with his powerfully timed body shots. With the majority of his fights won via TKO or KO, the 29-year-old is able to overcome many foes with his expertly timed punches and has won his last four fights via TKO or KO. With this fight being for all the bantamweight marbles, this could be the crowning achievement fight in Inoue’s young career.
Standing in the way of the champion will be the WBO title holder since May 2022, Butler aka the Baby-Faced Assassin. In the past, the 34-year-old has held multiple regional titles, along with the IBF welterweight championship in 2014. Another competitor with a sterling record at 34-2, Butler has won 15 of his bouts via knockout, while only being knocked out once in his pro career. The 2010 English National Championships gold medal winner in the Flyweight division, Butler has been able to defeat all kinds of challengers in his second bantamweight title reign.
Since losing to Emmanuel Rodríguez back in May 2018 for the vacant IBF bantamweight title, Butler has clawed his way back into the title conversation mix with various dominant wins. The Englishman is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak including a win over Jonas Sultan earlier this year. In the past, Butler has been able to knock off the likes of Stuart Hall (twice), Silviu Olteanu, and Najah Ali among others. With multiple titles on the line, Butler is angling for history and English pride next Tuesday in Tokyo.
Prediction: A stellar matchup, Inoue has the edge here given his dominance in the division and no one seems to have figured out how to slow him down yet.
After you are all done getting your latest round of boxing wagers in, make sure to also tap into the plethora of resources that SBS has rolled out for you so you can stay on top of the action. Indeed, for even more boxing betting info, our boxing betting sites guide has you covered with all the latest betting odds related to the sport. If you are someone that is always on the go and traveling to say, Tokyo, then the SBS best betting apps rundown is a great page for you to become familiar with and stay never miss out on any fights. On a similar note, if you are maybe unfamiliar with what kind of payment options might be best for you, the SBS payment methods page has your back with a variety of information related to deposits and withdrawals. Here, you can find all kinds of options from traditional routes to crypto.