Japan’s Naoya Inoue will bid to become a two-weight undisputed champion when he takes on IBF and WBA super-bantamweight title holder Marlon Tapales in Tokyo on 26 December.
The 30-year-old beat Stephen Fulton to unify the WBC and WBO titles in July and can claim all four belts with victory over Filipino Tapales.
“I want to knock him out,” said Inoue.
“I want to show my overwhelming power and win, even in a fight like this where becoming undisputed champion in a second division is on the line.”
Inoue, who has already won world titles at super-flyweight and light-flyweight, is unbeaten in 25 professional fights with 22 knockouts.
Nicknamed the ‘Monster’ for his ferocious power and ability to knock out opponents, Inoue became the first undisputed bantamweight world champion since Panama’s Enrique Pinder in 1972 when he stopped England’s Paul Butler in December 2022.
After his victory over Fulton in July, Tapales entered the ring and shook hands with Inoue, with the pair promising to fight for all four belts “this year”.
Tapales, 31, beat Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev by split decision in April to win the IBF and WBA super-bantamweight titles.