INOUE KNOCKS OUT TAPALES IN 10
By Dong Secuya
Tue, 26 Dec 2023
In a dazzling display of skill and sheer power, the 'Monster' Naoya Inoue once again asserted his dominance, securing a knockout victory over the valiant Marlon Tapales in the 10th round at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday night, Dec. 26, cementing his status as the undisputed world champion in the super bantamweight division.
Tapales, entering the ring as a heavy underdog, proved to be a worthy adversary for the pound-for-pound great. Despite moments of brilliance where he connected with right crosses, uppercuts, and left straights, Inoue's unparalleled speed, devastating power, and rapid combinations ultimately proved insurmountable for the former two-division world champion.
The opening round saw a cautious approach from Tapales, attempting to gauge the distance, while Inoue showcased his trademark left-right combinations. The tempo escalated in the following rounds, reaching its climax with a dramatic knockdown of Tapales in the 4th round, courtesy of a blistering left cross by Inoue, leaving just four seconds on the clock.
As the bout progressed, the anticipated quick finish transformed into a surprising turn of events. Tapales exhibited true champion's grit in the 5th round, engaging Inoue in a firefight, turning it into the most action-packed and competitive round of the fight.
Subsequently, the match evolved into a tactical chess game, both fighters making strategic adjustments. Tapales smartly shifted to his right, evading Inoue's dangerous right hands, while Inoue countered by intensifying his right-hand attacks. The once-expected short night for Tapales morphed into a cerebral battle from the 8th round onwards.
However, Inoue's undeniable prowess prevailed in the 10th round. A thunderous straight right pierced through Tapales' high guard at 1:02, sending him to the canvas. Despite displaying incredible heart, Tapales was unable to beat the count, and referee Celestino Ruiz waved off the fight.
Inoue, acknowledging Tapales' toughness, admitted, "This is my most intense fight so far." While Tapales fell short, his courageous performance against the 'Monster' undoubtedly elevated his standing in the boxing world.
Inoue, who was the undisputed bantamweight champion only a year ago, follows Terence Crawford to become the only two-division undisputed world champion.
As the Inoue mystique continues to grow, it is evident that another Asian boxing sensation has taken center stage, captivating the global audience with his unparalleled skill and relentless determination. The 'Monster' Naoya Inoue remains an indomitable force in the super bantamweight division, leaving fans eagerly anticipating his future exploits in the ring.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.
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