Just hours after Naoya Inoue dismantled American Stephen Fulton to become a four-division world champion and two-belt super-bantamweight king, oddsmakers immediately installed the Japanese as the massive favorite against Filipino Marlon Tapales.
Though a formal announcement has yet to be made, Inoue and Tapales are expected to face each other in November or December in Japan with all four straps on the line.
Inoue, nicknamed ‘Monster’, knocked out the previously unbeaten Fulton to win the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization crowns which he will risk against Tapales, holder of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation plums.
Obviously overwhelmed and dazzled by Inoue’s electrifying showing, the betting line for a proposed Tapales clash put the Japanese a staggering 12-1 favorite and Tapales a 13-2 underdog.
In this line, a $100 bet on Inoue wins a measly $8.33 while a $100 wager on Tapales wins a whopping $650.
Tapales and his team were at ringside and immediately after Inoue raised his immaculate record to 25-0 with 22 knockouts, the Filipino southpaw climbed the ring, was interviewed as part of the hype and declared that he is willing to prove he is also a great champion.
“I want to fight Inoue to prove to myself that I am a great champion,” Tapales said.
Inoue, the adrenaline rush of his smashing win still in effect, was quick with his sharp counter.
“Let’d do this, this year,” he said as the crowd at the Ariake Arena cheered.
Tapales, holder of a 37-3 mark with 19 knockouts, had won the WBA and IBF titles by upsetting Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev last April in San Antonio, Texas.
JC Mananquil, the Filipino promoter of Tapales, told Daily Tribune that while Inoue was super impressive, he is not truly invincible.
“We carefully studied him and we saw a few things,” Mananquil said as he and chief trainer Ernel Fontanilla took mental notes from their ringside seats.