Naoya Inoue Will Beat Marlon Tapalas in Late December

Naoya Inoue Will Beat Marlon Tapalas in Late December
  • What: Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapalas
  • Where: Tokyo
  • When: Tuesday, December 26th

Tuesday, December 26th will bring a history-making fight in the super bantamweight division. Naoya Inoue will put his WBC and WBO belts on the line against Marlon Tapalas of the Philippines, who currently holds the IBF and WBA titles in this division. This is a 12-round bout that will be held in Tokyo, Japan. Inoue is now a four-division champ after a shocking win over American Stephen Fulton in the summer in his super bantamweight debut. As for Tapalas, he settled for a split decision last time out and has won belts in two different divisions. This is easily the biggest fight of his career yet and a clear opportunity to hand Inoue his first-ever loss. Below, find the Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapalas picks.

Before we get into the odds and predictions for this fight, check out the best boxing betting sites and where you can find our sportsbook reviews.

Inoue vs Tapalas Odds

Naoya Inoue-1500-1600-1800
Marlon Tapalas+800+775+800

By no surprise, Inoue is a massive favorite here with -1500 odds for an implied win probability of 93.75%. Tapalas comes back at +800 and has a mere 11% chance of handing the Japanese superstar his first career defeat. These two have never met before. 

Inoue is a Superstar

It's hard to not mention Inoue when you talk about the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. The 30-year-old previously conquered light flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight before making the jump to super bantamweight, where he's already shaping up to be the division's king with a win later this month. Inoue has a mind-boggling 25-0 record with 22 knockouts. In other words, a KO ratio of 92%.

At the moment, Inoue is ranked as the second-best pound-for-pound boxer in the world by numerous outlets including The Ring. ESPN and others also have him as the best super-bantamweight in the world. In fact, he's the first Japanese fighter to ever be ranked No. 1 in any division. Going into July's clash with Fulton, I don't think anyone expected him to stop the American in the eighth round but that just showed how special Inoue is. To be honest, the fight wasn't even close in terms of statistics.

Inoue had 114 total punches to only 47 for Fulton. He also landed 70 power punches compared to 24 for his opponent. Even if Inoue didn't knock him out, there was no question he would've ended up winning. Inoue has now knocked out six opponents in a row and could surely do it again against Tapalas. Inoue is a complete boxer with every attribute to be great. His speed, power, and technical abilities will be a lot for Tapalas to handle.

Tapalas Has Work Cut Out For Him

Tapalas is one of the best boxers to come out of the Philippines since Manny Pacquiao. The 31-year-old is 37-3 with 19 knockouts in his pro career and just won the IBF and WBA super bantamweight belts when he beat Murodjon Ahmadaliev in Texas in April via split decision. He was previously a champion in the bantamweight division back in 2016, too.

"Nightmare" has won four straight fights since losing to Japan's Ryosuke Iwasa in 2019. He's also knocked out three of those four opponents. Tapalas went into the Ahmadaliev fight as a big underdog but managed to pull off the upset. He's not afraid to be underestimated, but Inoue is probably going to be his toughest fight yet.

When it comes to title fights, Tapalas has a 6-3 record. He's only lost once since 2013, too. At 31, this could be his last chance to be an undisputed world champion. It also won't be easy for Tapalas to fight in Inoue's homeland, where the crowd will be on his side. You can understand why the odds are so steep.

Naoya Inoue vs Marlon Tapalas Picks

I truly believe Inoue is the type of fighter who could be undefeated for most of, if not his entire professional career. While Tapalas has proven to be a great boxer throughout the years, Inoue is a different beast. The moneyline doesn't offer any value here, so take Inoue to win via decision at +550 odds. He'll continue his dominance.

Naoya Inoue To win by decision

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Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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