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Inoue posts monster win


TOKYO, Japan — The grand plans of Marlon Tapales ended up in tatters Tuesday night when Naoya Inoue knocked him out in the 10th round to become the undisputed world super-bantamweight champion at the Ariake Arena. Inoue got the job done after landing a right straight to Tapales’ temple, forcing the Filipino southpaw to take a backward step before getting down on his knees.

Referee Celestino Ruiz reached the count of 10 at the 2:06 mark of the round, sending the vast majority of fans in a celebratory mood.

“It was an intense fight and I am relieved (that it’s over),” Inoue, who added Tapales’ World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts to his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization straps.

“Tapales was a spirited and very strong opponent,” added Inoue, who boosted his record to 26-0 with 23 knockouts.

Everyone in attendance thought the fight was going to be short as Inoue floored Tapales with a vicious three-punch combination in the fourth frame.

Tapales got up but was saved by the bell, allowing him to remain in the fight until Inoue landed that solid right to the head.

‘Tapales was a spirited and very strong opponent.’

Inoue’s win made him an undisputed champion for the second time after pulling off the same feat at bantamweight.

A four-division champion, Inoue was leading on the scorecards of the three judges when the roof finally caved in on Tapales, who was bidding to become the first Filipino to be crowned undisputed champion.

The defeat dropped Tapales’ record to 37-4 with 19 knockouts. Tapales had his moments despite the beatdown that he sustained from Inoue, whose stock is expected to rise following his latest win.

After tasting the deck, Tapales managed to fight back and land some of his best blows that sent the crowd gasping.

But it was evident that Inoue was simply too powerful and too good for Tapales, who wept in his corner while his handlers consoled him.

Inoue was the heavy favorite coming into the much-awaited match and his performance simply was proof that the oddsmakers were right on the money.


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