Japanese boxing champion Naoya Inoue is the expected winner in fighting Britain’s WBO World Bantamweight Champion Paul “Baby Faced Assassin” Butler, becoming the first-ever undisputed bantamweight champion.
The two fighters will clash this coming December 13, Tuesday, at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. Inoue is clearly the favorite of the fight, as he currently holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF belts and has a perfect 23-0 record.
Butler, on the other hand, is the underdog. He has a record of 34 wins and two losses, with the bout against the Japanese hero being his first title defense.
Boxing statistics website Box.Live showed Inoue having a knockout power of 87% compared to Butler’s 44%. The former has had 20 knockouts under his name, while the latter only has 15.
Regarding reach, the Japanese also have the advantage of reaching 171 cm. On the other hand, his opponent can cover a six-inch shorter distance — 165 cm.
Experience is the best teacher, and in the case of Inoue, he already defended his WBA belt four times. His most recent victory was via technical knockout against Nonito “The Flash” Donaire last July 6.
Furthermore, the British boxer, at age 34, is going up against a younger, much more explosive Inoue at age 29. Thus, the odds at OKBET are clearly in favor of the latter.
The PAGCOR-authorized sports betting site showed Inoue with an odd of 1.02, while Butler has 15.00.
Butler to Inoue: “The toughest fight of my career”
In an interview with The Ring, Paul Butler said he is not underestimating Naoya Inoue. He acknowledged the match as a challenge, especially with someone he considered the current top pound-for-pound fighter.
“I think he is as good as everyone says. I think he is No. 1 pound-for-pound; he is that good,” he said. “I know it’s a tough task – I’m not stupid. I know it’s going to be the toughest fight of my career.”
However, Butler said he is not pressured to face the Japanese knockout expert. The British boxer believes he can give Inoue his first loss, just like Buster Douglas did to Mike Tyson.
“Sort of like the Mike Tyson days, they were beat before they got in [the ring] until Buster Douglas beat him in Tokyo. I don’t fear no man, and I think that plays a big part.
“It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Yes, he can punch. Yes, he’s very good. Yes, he’s pound-for-pound. But I don’t care. I’ve grown up in boxing; this will be my 24th year in the sport. I’ve seen everything.”
He added, “I believe I’m in the form of my life. I’m training the best I’ve ever trained, and training camp and sparring has gone that well – that if I do get the game plan off and the power’s not as big as everyone is making out, and I can take the shot, I believe we get him late, and we push him late, and we keep pushing him. I do believe if he hasn’t got me out of there within six rounds, I [will] win the fight.”