Naoya Inoue and Paul Butler clash in a unification contest to crown an undisputed bantamweight champion.
Japanese hero Inoue holds the IBF, WBA and WBC belts and Butler will bring the WBO strap to the ring.
The Kanagawa fighter has won world titles in three different weight divisions and the Monster is one of sport’s shining lights.
Butler was elevated from interim to full WBO champion, following a win over Jonas Sultan earlier this year, and the sanctioning body then took the decision to strip John Riel Casimero of his title.
The Baby Faced Assassin has previously held the IBF bantamweight title, which he collected when beating Stuart Hall in 2014.
The market indicates that Butler faces an extremely difficult task if he is to be crowned the undisputed king and the British fighter will also be up against an Inoue-supporting Tokyo crowd.
What: Naoya Inoue v Paul Butler
Where: Ariake Arena, Tokyo
When: 11:00am 13th December 2022
The fight will take place on Tuesday 13th December.
The main card gets underway in Tokyo at 9am. The undisputed clash between Naoya Inoue and Paul Butler is expected to start at 11am. Exact times will depend on the duration of previous undercard bouts.
The bantamweight contest will take place at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. The 12,000-seater venue was a setting for the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
The venue has also played host to a wide range of concerts and sporting events. Inoue will have a supportive home crowd on his side at the Ariake Arena.
The fight will be shown live on ESPN in the US. However, the fight is yet to be snapped up by a UK broadcaster.
All four major belts are on the line in this bantamweight bout. Inoue is the IBF, WBA and WBC 188lbs champion while Butler brings the WBO strap to Japan.
The winner will be crowned the undisputed bantamweight king.
Inoue is a superb boxer. The Japanese star is a three-weight world champion and the 29-year-old is unbeaten in 23 professional contests.
The Monster is a heavy-hitting three-belt king and 20 of the Kanagawa fighter’s victories have come by stoppage.
The top-level Nonito Donaire has twice been dismissed by the Monster and Inoue has also recorded excellent victories over Jason Moloney, Jamie McDonnell and Emmanuel Rodriguez.
The Japanese hero is a fantastic body puncher and is without doubt a pound-for-pound contender.
Butler is a former IBF bantamweight champion, having won that title against Stuart Hall in 2014.
The 34-year-old has won 34 of his 36 career bouts. The Baby Faced Assassin has lost to Rodriguez, who Inoue later knocked out in two rounds, and there’s also a defeat to Zolani Tete on the Cheshire puncher’s card.
Butler comes into this fight on the back of two good wins over Jonas Sultan and Willibaldo Garcia Perez, but this is without doubt the toughest test of the Brit’s career.
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