Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales undercard: Complete list of fights before main event in 2023 boxing match

History could be made in Japan when Naoya Inoue and Marlon Tapales clash to determine the undisputed bantamweight champion on December 26. The fight airs on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Inoue (25-0) is a four-division champion, consistently fighting for gold since 2014. The former light flyweight, super flyweight, and bantamweight champion beat Paul Butler in 2022 to become undisputed at the bantamweight level. Always up to challenge himself, Inoue ran through Stephen Fulton in July to become the WBC and WBO super bantamweight champion. Now, “The Monster” aims to become an undisputed champion in another weight class and would become only the second male fighter to do so. 

“I’m more motivated than before, and that has exceeded my expectations,” Inoue said via Kyodo News. “I’ve been training on the premise that I’ll be facing a skilled all-round boxer. I’ve gotten myself into better condition than I was for the Fulton bout. Tapales is looking to pull off an upset, so I’ll be careful.”

Tapales (37-3) is a two-division champion, winning WBO bantamweight gold in 2016. On a four-fight win streak, the “Nightmare” beat Murodjon Akhmadaliev in April for the IBF and WBA super bantamweight belts. The 31-year-old has 19 wins via knockout and will look to add the favorite in Inoue to his collection of wins via the power punch. 

WATCH: Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales, exclusively on ESPN+

Several local fighters look to impress on the undercard outside the main event. Here’s a breakdown of the entire Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales undercard. 

Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales undercard

Seiya Tsutsumi vs. Kazuki Anaguchi; Bantamweights

  • Division/Weight: Bantamweight
  • Tsutsumi record: 9-0-2
  • Anaguchi record: 6-0
  • Belts at stake: N/A 

Seiya Tsutsumi faces Kazuki Anaguchi.

Tsutsumi (9-0-2) turned pro in 2018. The 27-year-old fought two fighters to a draw in 2020. Winning local Japan gold at the bantamweight level, Tsutsumi last fought in August, beating Riku Masuda via a unanimous decision scoring. 

The 23-year-old Anaguchi (6-0) turned pro in 2021. He is 2-0 in 2023, beating Shori Umezu in his last fight in August via a unanimous decision scoring. 


Kanamu Sakama vs. John Paul Gabunilas

  • Division/Weight: Flyweight
  • Sakama record: 8-0
  • Gabunilas record: 10-2
  • Belts at stake: N/A 

Also on the card is Kanamu Sakama vs. John Paul Gabunilas

MORE: Who is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world?

Sakama (8-0) turned pro in 2021. The 20-year-old has won all but one fight via knockout. His last contest was a TKO win in July against Ryu Horikawa.

Gabunilas (10-2) turned pro in 2019. The 23-year-old had his eight-fight win streak snapped in August against Miel Fajardo.


Yoshiki Takei vs. Mario Diaz Maldonado

  • Division/Weight: Super Bantamweight
  • Takei record: 7-0
  • Maldonado record: 21-6
  • Belts at stake: N/A 

Yoshiki Takei fights Mario Diaz Maldonado on the card. 

Takei (7-0) started his career as a kickboxer. Joining the sport in 2009, he turned pro in 2014 and won the K-1 Grand Prix twice. A former K-1 super bantamweight champion, the 27-year-old joined boxing in 2021. He has won all his fights via knockout, his last contest a knockout win in July against Ronnie Baldonado.

Maldonado (21-6) turned pro in 2014. “El Triturador” lost his third fight in 2014 and went on a 15-fight win streak after. That streak was snapped against Erik Ruiz in 2018. The 28-year-old is 2-3 in his last five contests, his last fight a TKO loss in June against Jesus Arechiga Valdez.


Andy Hiraoka vs. Sebastian Diaz Maldonado

  • Division/Weight: Super Lightweight
  • Hiraoka record: 22-0
  • Maldonado record: 18-6-1
  • Belts at stake: N/A 

Further down the card is Andy Hiraoka vs. Sebastian Diaz Maldonado

Hiraoka (22-0) turned pro in 2013. “Da Blade” has won eight fights in a row via knockout since 2019. His last contest was a TKO win in August 2012 against Min Ho Jung.

MORE: Canelo vs. Benavidez has to be next

Maldonado (18-6-1) turned pro in 2013. “El Verdugo” lost against Lee Reeves in May 2022 for the NABF super lightweight title. Since then, he is 1-1, losing his last contest in August against Eduardo Ramirez. 


Suguru Ishikawa vs. Fuga Uematsu

  • Division/Weight: Featherweight
  • Ishikawa record: 3-5-1
  • Uematsu record: 1-0
  • Belts at stake: N/A 

Suguru Ishikawa fights Fuga Uematsu.

Ishikawa (3-5-1) turned pro in 2019. The 35-year-old has traded wins and losses in his career and is 1-2-1 in his last five fights. His last contest was a TKO loss in May against Soyo Ikezaki.

Uematsu (1-0) turned pro in September, beating Yuki Takashima via TKO. 


Rikiya Sato vs. Keisuke Endo

  • Division/Weight: Super Featherweight
  • Sato record: N/A
  • Endo record: 0-2
  • Belts at stake: N/A

Finally, Rikiya Sato fights Keisuke Endo.

The 18-year-old Sato is making his pro debut. 

Endo (0-2) turned pro in 2021. He last fought in April 2022, losing against Rinya Takahashi.


When is Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales?

Region Date Main Card Start Time Main Event Ring Walks (approx.)
USA and Canada (ET) Tuesday, December 26 3 a.m. ET 6 a.m. ET
USA and Canada (PT) Tuesday, December 26 12 a.m. PT 3 a.m. PT
UK and Ireland Tuesday, December 26 8 a.m. GMT 11 a.m. GMT

Australia

Tuesday, December 26 7 p.m. AEDT 10 p.m. GMT

WATCH: Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales, exclusively on ESPN+

How to watch Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales: TV channel, live stream

Region TV channel Live streaming
USA ESPN ESPN+
Canada TSN+
UK and Ireland Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Arena Sky GO
Australia TBC

The Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales main card will air on ESPN+ in the U.S. The undercard will air exclusively on ESPN+. 

Naoya Inoue vs. Marlon Tapales price: How much does the fight cost? 

You can pay $10.99 for a monthly subscription to ESPN+ or buy an annual subscription for $109.99.

Product Prices
ESPN+ Monthly Subscription $10.99/mo
ESPN+ Annual Subscription $109.99/yr
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu Ad-Supported $14.99/mo
The Disney Bundle w/Hulu No-Ads $24.99/mo

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