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Inoue drools over unification fight

Naoya Inoue (in action) looks forward to a unification bout with Marlon Tapales | KAZUHIRO NOGI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Naoya “Monster” Inoue formally received his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization super-bantamweight straps during formal awarding rites in Tokyo.

As this developed, Inoue expressed optimism that his chance to become an undisputed champion could be realized by December.
Major players in the negotiations are holding a key meeting in two weeks in Tokyo in the hopes of putting a deal in place for Inoue to face Marlon Tapales.

To become undisputed, Inoue needs to win Tapales’ World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts.
That seems to be tops on Inoue’s priority list, becoming undisputed at 122 lbs after already becoming one at bantamweight (118 lbs) last year.
Tapales, meanwhile, is already in the United States getting ready for the proposed lucrative four-belt clash with the Japanese pound-for-pound star.

Akihiko Honda, Inoue’s influential Japanese promoter, is working closely with Tapales’ chief representative Sean Gibbons to make things happen.

An 18 September meeting in Tokyo has been scheduled involving the two key individuals in the talks.

Inoue had won the WBC and WBO crowns with a smashing eight-round knockout of Stephen Fulton last July at the Ariake Coliseum.
Tapales won his twin titles last April in shocking Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev in San Antonio, Texas.

Though the clear underdog should the much-awaited encounter takes place, Tapales swears he won’t be handing the titles to Inoue on a silver platter.

“Fight to win,” Tapales said.

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