Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler: Japan’s Inoue seals A STUNNING knockout victory in bantamweight unification bout against British fighter Butler to become the first EVER four-belt champion in 118-pound history
- Naoya Inoue sealed a dominant bantamweight unification bout on Tuesday
- Great Britain’s Paul Butler was resolute in defence, but had given little answer
- The Monster confirmed that he intends to change weight categories in the future
Naoyo Inoue sealed a stunning victory over Paul Butler with an 11th-round knockout to become the first bantamweight world champion to hold four belts.
The Japanese fighter dominated proceedings from the outset, keeping British boxer Butler at bay throughout all 11 rounds of the action at the Ariake Arena, although the Cheshire-born Butler was unable to offer much in the way of offensive impact.
Inoue was taken to the 11th round for just the third time in his career and in the immediate aftermath of making history in the bantamweight division, Inoue confirmed that he will look to move to another weight class in the future.
Naoya Inoue secured a stunning knockout victory over Paul Butler to unify the bantamweight division
Inoue became the division’s first-ever four-belt champion and the first unified champion since 1972
Butler lasted 11 rounds before finally succumbing to Inoue’s constant offensive onslaught
Inoue entered the bout as the overwhelming favorite, and many considered him a contender for the title of pound-for-pound best boxer in the world.
And the Japanese fighter was well worth the claim if his display on Tuesday was anything to go by, controlling proceedings from the first punch and stalking Butler across the canvas with deadly intent.
Butler held on for 11 rounds before finally succumbing to a particularly lethal battery from the home favorite, with punches raining down in a devastating onslaught that forced the countout.
Inoue left Paul Butler in a heap in the 11th round after a barrage of body and head shots
The Monster was in prolific form throughout the contest, and was forced to empty the bag of tricks in an attempt to coax Butler out of his persistent defensive stance.
An Ali shuffle, a Roy Jones hand-behind-the-back stance, and even a shift to a southpaw stance – nothing would elicit a proactive response from the Brit.
As a result, Inoue was forced to return to his strength, blasting through Butler’s guard with sustained high right hands into the gloves and a metronomic jab.
Inoue used several tricks to try to tempt Butler out of a resolutely defensive approach
The monster boasts a prolific strike force and his record of 24 wins in 24 matches explains the fear he inspires in his opponents.
But instead of showing fear, Butler used a healthy measure of pragmatism and respect in his approach to the fight, although it wasn’t enough to stop the 29-year-old.
It was a testament to his dominance in the encounter that Inoue conducted the post-fight interview and showed respect for Butler and his corner with barely a blemish on his face.
After the fight, Inoue took the opportunity to declare his historic win as the final chapter of his bantamweight career.
With the win over Butler, Inoue extended his undefeated record as a professional to 24 fights
“I’m finally undisputed bantamweight champion, thank you very much,” he said.
– This has been a long journey for me, but this is the last chapter in bantamweight and I have made it.
“Now I’m considering changing my division.”
But he put aside the frustration he showed throughout the match against an increasingly belligerent Butler and thanked his opponent for making the trip to Tokyo.
Inoue intends to change weight class after unifying the bantamweight division for the first time since 1972
He was also remarkably quick to congratulate the Brit on the culmination of the fight after a brief outburst of emotion in the center of the ring once his victory was sealed.
“Thanks to Butler for coming to Japan, I couldn’t have done this without him and I commend him,” he added.
“I expected a longer fight and I was able to show you more, so I’m happy.
“I’m happy with boxing longer than usual today.”
The Monster quickly went into Butler’s blue corner to congratulate him after the game