By: Sean Crose
It is now impossible to deny that Naoya Inoue sits atop the imposing mountain of boxing. On Tuesday morning (American time), the fighter known as “The Monster” dominated and then stopped the extremely skilled Stephen Fulton in front of a thrilled crowd at Japan’s Ariake Arena. It was nothing short of a brilliant performance, one that has now made Inoue a four division world champion, as Fulton’s WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles now belong to him. The fight, which was broadcast live in America courtesy ESPN, was impressive if not one sided.
The first was close and fast paced, with Inoe landing on occasion. The second saw Inoue dominate by applying pressure and landing on Fulton. American Fulton employed some effective aggression in the third, but didn’t throw enough to take the round. Inoue dominated the fourth, as blood appeared on Fulton’s face. With that being said, Fulton had a strong fifth, finally landing on Inoue and using solid footwork. He continued to fight well in the sixth, though Inoue’s fast fists were able to find their home.
Fulton had a very good seventh – until Inoue once again started to land in the later part of the round. Things came to a crashing halt in the eighth. First, Inoue put Fulton down in sudden and dramatic fashion. After Fulton gamely got to his feet, Inoue went in for the kill, firing away until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Fulton subsequently collapsed to the canvas in the corner while Inoue savored a crowning achievement. All questions had been answered.
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