Boxing-Inoue becomes two-weight undisputed champion with Tapales knockout

  • Boxing
  • Tuesday, 26 Dec 2023

Naoya Inoue of Japan throws a punch at Paul Butler of Britain during their bantamweight title unification boxing match of WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO in Tokyo, Japan, December 13, 2022, in this photo released by Kyodo. Kyodo via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - Japan's Naoya Inoue became the second male boxer to be a four-belt undisputed champion in two weight divisions with a 10th-round knockout of Marlon Tapales in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Inoue unified the super-bantamweight titles of all four major sanctioning bodies, taking the WBA and IBF crown from Tapales and retaining the WBC and WBO belts he won in July.

The 30-year-old unified all four belts in the bantamweight division last year with victory over Paul Butler before vacating those titles and moving up to his current weight class.

The only other man to achieve the feat is American Terence Crawford, the current welterweight undisputed champion who previously unified the four major belts in the light-welterweight class.

In women's boxing, Claressa Shields (middleweight and light-middleweight) and Katie Taylor (lightweight and light-welterweight) have achieved the same feat.

Inoue, the first Asian two-division undisputed champion, is 26-0 as a professional and has previously been a world champion in two other weight classes, having won the WBC championship in light-flyweight and the WBO title in junior-bantamweight.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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