A pair of unbeaten bantamweights will battle for the WBC and WBO unified super bantamweight championship on Tuesday, July 25, providing a thrilling opportunity for boxing betting enthusiasts. Reigning champion Stephen Fulton will travel to Tokyo, Japan, to face No. 1 contender Naoya Inoue in a 12-round bout at the Ariake Arena.
Inoue (24-0-0) lorded over the super-flyweight division before becoming the first undisputed bantamweight champion in a half-century. A win over Fulton will help Inoue to become only the fifth Asian boxer to win world titles in four weight classes.
Fulton (21-0-0) claimed a one-sided unanimous decision over former unified world champion Daniel Roman last summer to retain both titles. He won the WBO super-bantamweight world title in early 2021 with a win over Angelo Leo and added the WBC title in November of the same year with a split decision victory against Brandon Figueroa.
Inoue (-350) is a big favorite to get past Fulton (+250), per WynnBet New York sportsbook. The Japanese brawler must use his elite timing, speed, punching power, and body-punching skills to win the fight. However, the American is an intelligent counterpuncher with excellent footwork and defensive techniques.
The Japanese challenger has a massive power advantage over the champion. Inoue boasts an 88% knockout percentage with 21 KOs in 24 fights, while Fulton has an unimpressive 38% knockout rate with just eight KOs in 21 bouts.
The former undisputed bantamweight champion is a gifted boxer with elite power, a unique skillset, and devastating body punches. Inoue is an athletic fighter who likes to overwhelm his opponents with relentless jabs and combination punches, which sets up his powerful left hook body shots.
Nicknamed "The Monster," the 30-year-old showcases a variety of potent and accurate jabs. The three-division world champion favors throwing 2-3 light jabs in succession before unleashing a solid jab that is followed by a lethal straight right, hook, or uppercut.
Inoue has only fought in the United States three times as a professional and is not a household name for American boxing fans. But he is extremely confident in his abilities to win the unified WBC and WBO title belts.
"By moving up from 118 to 122 pounds, I feel more comfortable, stronger, and sharper," said Inoue recently during a media workout at his Ohashi Boxing Gym in Yokohama. "My work is going well. I'm handling the preparations. I am thinking super bantam is the best weight for me."
Fulton is the ultimate counterpuncher who prefers to use his jab or lead hand while keeping some distance from opposing fighters. The Philadelphia native best weapon is his lead hand, which helps him to throw a flurry of different jab combinations.
The 29-year-old is a slick boxer with superior footwork that allows him to use his jabs effectively, set up combinations and counter-punching, and evade punches. He is also adept at using the famous Philly shell shoulder roll and has improved his inside game with uppercuts or hooks.
Nicknamed "Cool Boy Steph," the American has a high ring IQ and believes this will help him deal Inoue his first professional loss.
"Naoya Inoue's best asset is his excellent timing rather than his power punching," Fulton said. "But I'll be able to outbox him by fighting intelligently."
Both fighters possess exceptional skills and have displayed their abilities to dominate in the ring. However, considering Inoue's devastating power and aggressive style, we predict that he will eventually find an opening and deliver a fight-ending blow. We expect the fight to end in the middle to later rounds, possibly around the eighth or ninth round, as Inoue's relentless pressure and precision punching wear down Fulton.
The betting odds for this unified WBC & WBO super bantamweight championship fight are live on New York's popular sportsbooks, including WynnBet, which has listed Inoue as a -350 favorite.
The most prevalent bet type for this fight is the moneyline, betting on who will win the fight outright.
Our pick to win the fight would be Inoue, given his elite punching power and all-around boxing skills. A $100 wager on Inoue at odds of -350 would net a profit of approximately $28.57, for a total payout of $128.57.
However, Fulton is also a skilled fighter who could prove the oddsmakers wrong. A $100 wager on the underdog at odds of +250 would net a profit of $250.
The Over/Under bet is another popular type, where you wager on the number of rounds the fight will last. This could be an extended fight, given Fulton's lack of knockout power and defensive ability.
Considering their recent fights, we might expect the fight to last at least three full rounds. Thus, betting Over 2.5 rounds could be a favorable pick.
Given both fighters' excellent ring IQ, this fight has the potential to be a long and hard-fought contest. Therefore, we might lean toward betting on Over 3.5 rounds, expecting the fight to reach into the fourth round or possibly go the distance.
The main event features the reigning and defending WBC/WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton and No. 1 contender Naoya Inoue. The 12-round bout will occur on Tuesday, July 25, at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo. Boxing fans in New York can watch the fight live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Japanese star Naoya Inoue is a considerable favorite to prevail over American Stephen Fulton in the main event at Ariake Arena in Tokyo. Inoue is a -350 betting favorite, while Fulton is the +250 underdog, per WynnBet.
Robeisy Ramirez will battle Satoshi Shimizu for the WBO World Featherweight championship, while Chihiro Iwashita and Hiroyuki Takahara will square off in a Super featherweight matchup. Kanamu Sakama will meet Ryu Horikawa in a light flyweight bout, and lightweights Taiga Imanaga will collide with Hebi Marapu in a 135-lb contest. Finally, Yoshiki Takei and Ronnie Baldonado will butt heads in a Super bantamweight clash.
Live betting is available for boxing during the fight, but you can only place bets between rounds when the in-play betting odds are updated. The most popular type of betting for boxing is moneyline wagers representing the odds for who will win the fight outright. A "three-way" moneyline is also available if the match ends in a tie. Other live betting types include prop bets, such as the method of victory, total rounds (how long a fight will last), points betting, and parlays.