Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue Fight Card, Odds, & Predictions

min read
Stephen Fulton, left, punches Ukraine's Arnold Khegai during the seventh round.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Jul 20, 2023, 4:18 PM
  • The WBC and WBO World Super Bantamweight titles are on the line.
  • Naoya Inoue is the considerable betting favorite at -350.
  • Stephen Fulton is the betting underdog at +260.

Perfect records are on the line this Tuesday, July 25, as reigning WBC and WBO Super Bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton (21-0) faces former undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue (24-0) inside Ariake Arena in Japan. The American defending champion is the underdog in the boxing odds at +260.

The Japanese challenger is tagged as the considerable favorite in BetMGM’s online sportsbook at -350 because of his higher TKO/KO percentage of 88% compared to Fulton, who only has 38%. Additionally, the fight will be staged in front of Inoue’s home fans in Japan, which coincides with the first time that Fulton fights in hostile territory in his professional career.

Stephen Fulton Recent Fight Results

Stephen Fulton is an undefeated American super bantamweight champion with 21 wins, including eight TKO/KOs. He made his professional debut in October 2014 against Isaac Badger, where he stopped him in the second round via TKO, and has since piled up the wins. It took 15 victories for “Cool Boy Steph” to earn his first title fight.

In May 2019, Fulton unanimously defeated Paulus Ambunda to win the IBO World Super Bantamweight title before shortly adding the WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title in January 2020 by beating Arnold Khegai. The Philadelphia native officially became a world champion by outlasting Angelo Leo to capture the WBO World Super Bantamweight belt with a unanimous decision nod from the judges.

Ten months later, in November 2021, Fulton unified the WBO and WBC World Super Bantamweight titles with a majority decision win over Brandon Figueroa. The 29-year-old successfully fended off the challenge from Daniel Roman in his most recent fight in June 2022 to retain the WBO and WBC straps, thus keeping his record perfectly intact.

Naoya Inoue Recent Fight Results

Naoya Inoue is an undefeated three-division boxing world champion in the light flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight divisions, where he won a total of six titles and completed 15 defenses. Before dominating these three weight classes, Inoue won multiple amateur boxing tournaments across Asia and held the Japan Boxing Commission Japanese Light Flyweight title.

The “Monster” destroyed every opponent before him by knocking them out or stopping them in under 12 rounds. Other notable boxers that Inoue defeated were Jamie McDonnell, Juan Carlos Payano, Nonito Donaire, and Michael Dasmarinas. Inoue’s latest victim was Paul Butler, whom he knocked out in 11 rounds to unify all the titles in the bantamweight division.

Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue: Tale of the Tape

Stephen FultonNaoya Inoue
Age 2930
Height 5'7"5'5"
Reach 67 inches68 inches
Record 21-024-0
Stance Orthodox Orthodox
TKO/KO Percentage38%88%

Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue: Fight Analysis

The tale of the tape between Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue is almost identical, as only two inches separate them in height and an inch difference in reach. Fulton is the taller fighter at 5-foot-7 compared to Inoue, who stands at 5-foot-5. However, the “Monster” will enjoy a slight reach advantage of 68 inches versus “Cool Boy Steph’s” 67 inches of reach.

Both are fighting in an orthodox stance, but Inoue is the heavy puncher among the two, with an 88% TKO/KO percentage against Fulton’s 38%. This massive difference is credited to the fact that they have contrasting fighting approaches, with the Japanese fighter being the forward-moving aggressor, while the American is a more relaxed and calculated type of boxer.

Despite the huge gap in finishing rate, there’s one similar technique that Fulton and Inoue have in their arsenal – the heavy use of the jab. The defending champion uses his jab to gauge the distance of his punches and reads the tendencies of his opponents with feints. On the other hand, the challenger utilizes his jab to force his opponents to backpedal onto the ropes.

Fulton fights in a more technical and fundamental method with his well-coordinated footwork. He likes to bait his opposition with the jab and wait for them to throw punches before he counterpunches. Additionally, he has good speed and balance that allows him to fight on the outside, thus launching various combinations such as hook and body shots.

Meanwhile, Inoue has a relentless and unforgiving boxing style that highlights his power. The Japanese superstar’s jabs are like power punches because they are strong and stiff. He forces his opponents against the ropes and is nonstop in giving combinations to the head and body with heavy blows that often swarm and overwhelm his foes. Inoue’s favorite punch is the liver shot delivered by a left hook.

This upcoming super bantamweight championship showdown of Fulton and Inoue is a very intriguing matchup because, on one end, you have a very relaxed and loose fighter, while on the other end, you have an aggressive and power-punching fighter. The outcome of this title bout boils down to one deciding factor – if Fulton can avoid and endure the flood of power punches that Inoue will throw at him throughout the match.

Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue: Date and Start Time

July 25, 2023, 5 a.m. PT

July 25, 2023, 7 a.m. CT

July 25, 2023, 8 a.m. ET

Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue: Fight Prediction

Official Prediction: TKO/KO victory for Naoya Inoue.

See the entire Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue odds and wagers here.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.