Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue and the Philippines' Marlon Tapales have agreed a Dec. 26 date for a blockbuster showdown in Japan to unify all four super bantamweight belts, according to reports from the World Boxing Organization's congress in the Dominican Republic.

Inoue currently owns the WBO and WBC super bantamweight belts, while Tapales is the WBA and IBF champion.

Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue (R) poses for photos with Marlon Tapales of the Philippines at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on July 25, 2023, shortly after Inoue dethroned Stephen Fulton of the United States as unified WBO and WBC super bantamweight champion in a boxing world title fight. Tapales holds the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Inoue was the undisputed bantamweight world champion before stepping up in weight. He debuted at super bantam against American Stephen Fulton on July 25, capturing the WBO and WBC crowns with an eighth-round technical knockout.

If he succeeds against Tapales, he will become just the second boxer to unify all four major belts in two divisions after American Terence Crawford, who achieved that feat four days after Inoue's victory over Fulton.


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