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Naoya Inoue, Stephen Fulton shake out for Japanese media ahead of July 25 clash

Naoya Inoue skips rope for the Japanese media ahead of his showdown with Stephen Fulton. Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Fighters Network

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN – Former undisputed bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue participated in a brief media workout at the Ohashi Gym on Saturday, July 15, to publicize his anticipated challenge to WBC/WBO junior featherweight titleholder Stephen Fulton on July 25.

“By moving up from 118 to 122 pounds, I feel more comfortable, stronger and sharper,” said Inoue, who won world titles at 108 and 115 pounds prior to unifying all four major 118-pound belts (and earning The Ring’s bantamweight title).

“I’ve also improved my speed.”

The Monster wraps his own hands, which he says will be much faster on July 25. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

After skipping rope and before shadowboxing, his manager/promoter Hideyuki Ohashi abruptly told him to stop training, so as not to expose his moves to Team Fulton, who were in attendance.

Inoue is flanked by his promoter Hideyuki Ohashi (L) and father/trainer Shingo Inoue. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

The previous day, Fulton stunned the Japanese press with his brief workout. It lasted only 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

“I don’t like to show my training,” The Ring’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight said as he left the Ohashi Gym.

Fulton made sure to leave the Japanese media wanting more. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Fulton just shadowboxed for a minute, hit a punching ball for 30 seconds and landed only three shots to a heavy bag.

“Naoya Inoue’s best asset is his excellent timing, rather than his power punching,” he said. “But I’ll be able to outbox him by fighting intelligently.”

Fulton’s WBC and WBO 122-pound titles will be on the line on July 25. Photo by Naoki Fukuda


Also read these exclusive features:

Naoya Inoue Q&A – Part One: Nonito Donaire, pound-for-pound rankings, Paul Butler – The Ring (

Naoya Inoue Q&A – Part Two: Stephen Fulton, future plans and challenges – The Ring (

Gym Notes: Naoya Inoue leaves ‘comfort zone’ for taste of L.A. boxing scene – The Ring (



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