Boxing & MMA

Naoya Inoue’s injury postpones 2023 fight vs. Stephen Fulton: Possible new date, opponents & more

Boxing fans were gearing up for a busy boxing weekend at the beginning of May, with Canelo Alvarez returning on May 6 and Stephen Fulton vs. Naoya Inoue on May 7 in Japan. 

Unfortunate circumstances forced Fulton vs. Inoue to be removed, for now, from boxing’s schedule.

ESPN was the first to report that Inoue suffered an injury during training, prepping for his fight against Fulton, the WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion.

Inoue, the undisputed bantamweight champion, beat Paul Butler in December to hold all the gold. “The Monster” moved in weight to face super bantamweight champion Fulton, who accepted all conditions, including traveling to the opponent’s home country for the fight. 

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Here’s the latest on Inoue vs. Fulton, including when the bout may now be. 

What is Naoya Inoue’s injury?

Per ESPN, the nature of the injury is not a serious matter. It is unknown at this moment where Inoue is injured. The Sporting News will provide updates when released. 

When will Stephen Fulton and Naoya Inoue fight?  

As of now, Fulton vs. Inoue will still take place in the summer. There is no set date.

The former last fought in June, while Inoue’s last fight in the summer was in June 2022 against Nonito Donaire. The fight calendar is wide open in June and July, meaning there are no major dates off the table.

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Who will Stephen Fulton fight next if not Naoya Inoue?

Fulton will remain focused on a fight against Inoue. He even confirmed via Twitter a new date is set for the title bout. 

If he decided not to wait, Fulton could compete in a potential rematch against Brandon Figueroa. Fulton beat Figueroa to win the WBC super bantamweight title in 2021. Figueroa has since moved to featherweight, beating Mark Magsayo in early March for the WBC featherweight title.

Also on his radar is Murodjon Akhmadaliev, the WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion. Akhmadaliev will face Marlon Tapales on April 8. 

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