English boxer Paul Butler broke his vow to give the Japanese champ Naoya “The Monster” Inoue his first defeat after losing via a technical knockout (TKO) last Tuesday, December 13, thus surrendering his WBA belt.
Before their match at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, Butler was confident that Inoue would be defeated by his hands. The 34-year-old boxer from the United Kingdom even compared himself to James “Buster” Douglas—Mike Tyson’s first defeat.
“Sort of like the Mike Tyson days, they (previous challengers) 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,” he said in an interview with The Ring.
Before tasting his first defeat, Tyson was undefeated and went 36-0. In the case of the now-former WBA champion, he was also the underdog.
However, the English boxer could not repeat Buster’s success over Tyson. Butler lost by TKO in round 11 after Inoue threw heavy body shots and a lightning-quick strike to the temple that dropped him.
At the start of the match, his face already registered fear upon receiving the punching power of his opponent. Meanwhile, the Japanese was relaxed, even letting his hands go down —an invitation for a slugfest.
Throughout the rounds, Butler was stiff and was always on guard. On the other hand, Inoue was relentless, unleashing combination after combination.
Even if the former defending champion survived the onslaught, he still lost on the judge’s cards. Butler only landed 38 of his 301 punches, while Inoue was able to connect 151 punches.
Inoue, 50 years in the making
After Butler’s TKO, Inoue becomes the first undisputed bantamweight champion, holding all four bantamweight belts. By outboxing his opponent, the Japanese solidified his position as the number one pound-for-pound of this generation.
His record now goes up to 24, and has a total knockout of 21.
In the meantime, Inoue is enjoying his victory and has yet to reveal his decision to move a weight class.
“When I have all four belts, then I will decide what comes next, whether that means moving up to super bantamweight or whatever,” he stated during the pre-fight interview.
Although, it is not a surprise that Inoue will win the bout, especially with the odds at OKBET heavily in his favor.