WBC and WBO super bantamweight boxing champion Naoya Inoue said Friday he is in top condition for his Dec. 26 bout against WBA and IBF champion Marlon Tapales of the Philippines.

The Japanese star, nicknamed "Monster," won his two current titles in an overwhelming eighth-round technical knockout of American Stephen Fulton in his super bantamweight debut in July.

Inoue completed a sweep of the four bantamweight belts in December 2022 and aims to become only the second man in boxing history to unify all four belts in two weight classes.

WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue trains at his Ohashi Boxing Gym in Yokohama on Dec. 15, 2023, ahead of his Dec. 26 four-belt title fight against WBA and IBF champion Marlon Tapales of the Philippines. (Kyodo)

"I'm more motivated than before, and that has exceeded my expectations," Inoue said at his Ohashi Boxing Gym in Yokohama.

"I've been training on the premise that I'll be facing a skilled all-round boxer. I've gotten myself into better condition than I was for the Fulton bout."

Inoue and Tapales will meet in the final week of 2023 at Tokyo's Ariake Arena.

"Tapales is looking to pull off an upset, so I'll be careful," Inoue said.


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