Naoya Inoue halted Paul Butler to become Japan’s first four-belt undisputed champion.
The ‘Monster’ won every round before blasting Butler out in round 11 with a vicious combination.
Inoue came into the bout off the back of a huge victory which saw him pick up the WBC title over Nonito Donaire in June, whilst Butler came in off the back of winning the WBO ‘Interim’ title against Jonas Sultan in April but was soon elevated to full champion after the fight.
Round one was a cagey affair as both champions felt each other out to measure the range. Inoue would settle in the fight in round two, as he began to pile the pressure on Butler in front of the Japanese crowd.
Inoue stretched his lead through the third, however, Butler began to display offense of his own, landing a left hook to the body before landing a left to the head, Butler’s work would be overshadowed by the Japanese man’s relentless pressure and elite head movement.
Much of the same came in the next couple of rounds, as Butler kept a tight compact guard, the ‘Monster’ would pin him in the neutral corner on multiple occasions, but Butler would bite down on the gumshield, ship the punishment and find his way out of the corner.
Inoue made it known that he was getting bored of Butler’s unwillingness to engage, as he began to taunt the Ellesmere Port man, dropping his hands to his waist and even putting them behind his back. Butler did fire shots through, but the ‘Monster’ had an answer each time, marching down his man.
HANDS BEHIND THE BACK 😲#InoueButler x @ESPNPluspic.twitter.com/jB4AnW6uJt
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) December 13, 2022
The commentators claimed Butler was only here to survive, saying he was fighting too defensively and wouldn’t engage, even if it seemed there was an opening from their view.
Round 11 came around and Inoue was done playing around, as he came out with a relentless pace. The ‘Monster’ pinned his man against the ropes and unleashed a vicious combination of punches.
Amongst the vicious combination, a body shot landed which folded Butler to the canvas, the Englishman couldn’t make it to his feet as the bout was waived off, crowning Inoue the undisputed bantamweight champion.
井上尚弥 Naoya Inoue KOs Paul Butler in ROUND 11‼️The best fighter in the world 🥊 pic.twitter.com/mAQ3oFeRH2
— No Nonsense Boxing (@NNBoxing) December 13, 2022
Inoue becomes the first man from Japan to become a four belt undisputed champion, but now looks to switch to super bantamweight in attempt to become a four-weight world champion.