Undisputed super bantamweight world champion Naoya Inoue was named Ring Magazine's 2023 Fighter of the Year on Friday, becoming the first Japanese boxer to win the prestigious award.

The man nicknamed "Monster" stopped two-belt world champion Marlon Tapales of the Philippines last month to become just the second boxer to unify two divisions, following American Terence Crawford.

Japanese boxer Naoya Inoue poses after defeating Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in their four-belt super bantamweight title unification bout at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Dec. 26, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Inoue, whose record stands at 26-0 with 23 knockouts, unified the bantamweight division in December 2022.

He stepped up to super bantam last July and soundly beat the previously undefeated WBC and WBO world champion Stephen Fulton of the United States.

The Ring has named a Fighter of the Year since 1928. The 30-year-old Inoue is the first Asian winner since Filipino great Manny Pacquiao, who won in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Inoue became the first Japanese boxer to top the Ring's pound-for-pound ranking in June 2022.

He has won world championships in four weight classes, starting with the WBC light flyweight crown in just his sixth professional fight in April 2014.

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