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Noya Inoue Becomes Two-Weight Undisputed Champion with Tapales Knockout

AP Photo/Hiro Komae
Naoya Inoue of Japan celebrates with his four champion belts, after defeating Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in the tenth round of their boxing match for the unified WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF super bantamweight world titles in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023.

Japan’s Naoya Inoue became the second male boxer to be a four-belt undisputed champion in two weight divisions with a 10th-round knockout of Marlon Tapales in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Inoue unified the super-bantamweight titles of all four major sanctioning bodies, taking the WBA and IBF crown from Tapales and retaining the WBC and WBO belts he won in July.

The 30-year-old unified all four belts in the bantamweight division last year with victory over Paul Butler before vacating those titles and moving up to his current weight class.

The only other man to achieve the feat is American Terence Crawford, the current welterweight undisputed champion who previously unified the four major belts in the light-welterweight class.

In women’s boxing, Claressa Shields (middleweight and light-middleweight) and Katie Taylor (lightweight and light-welterweight) have achieved the same feat.

Inoue, the first Asian two-division undisputed champion, is 26-0 as a professional and has previously been a world champion in two other weight classes, having won the WBC championship in light-flyweight and the WBO title in junior-bantamweight.

AP Photo/Hiro Komae
Naoya Inoue of Japan, left, celebrates after beating Marlon Tapales of the Philippines in the tenth round of a boxing match for the unified WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF super bantamweight world titles in Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2023.