Everything you need to know about Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler
Liverpool's Paul Butler (34-2, 15KO) goes in search of his own 'Tokyo Story' when he faces Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20KO) for the undisputed world bantamweight title.
The WBO champion from Ellesmere Port tackles Japanese 'Monster' Inoue, who holds the IBF, WBA and WBC belts and wants to clean up the division before moving up in weight.
But in order to do that he has to get past Butler first, who has his own ideas of entering into the boxing history books as the first ever undisputed bantamweight champion in the four-belt era.
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Start time: 10am GMT / 5am ET / 9pm AEDT / 7pm JST
Main event: 12:30pm GMT / 7:30am ET / 11:30pm AEDT / 9:30pm JST
Venue: Ariake Arena in Tokyo
Promoter: Ohashi Promotion and Teiken Promotions in association with Probellum
Titles: WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO World and Ring Magazine bantamweight titles
How to Watch
UK:Kayo Sports ($29.95 PPV)
Japan: dTV and Hikari TVLIVE Results by BBN
Britain's Butler is 9/1 underdog against the 1/33 favourite Inoue. Odds for a draw are 25/1, which is an outcome few are predicting.
For the best betting odds, visit Top Betting Sites, who provide a guide to all the best UK bookmakers for sports bettors.
Tim Rickson: "Any boxer with 20 KOs from 23 fights is always going to be dangerous with stats like that, but Inoue is even a level above dangerous. He's a freak of nature when it comes to power, able to knock opponents out with just a jab alone. He has knocked out his last four opponents, and only one man – Nonito Donaire – has been able to take him the distance in his last 13 bouts. But in the rematch with Donaire, the Filipino legend was blasted out in just two rounds. The last person to to take Inoue the full 12 rounds was David Carmona way back in 2016, over six years ago!
"It's Butler's biggest fight of his career, so expect to see the best, most well prepared version of the scouser ever. The 'Baby Faced Assassin' is riding on an eight-fight win streak, but none of those foes are suitable practise for the likes of Inoue. Trainer Joe Gallagher will have provided his 118lbs charge with the best possible game plan and he will be invaluable in the corner between rounds.
"I expect Butler to give it a real go, but I believe he will be stopped within the first six rounds."
Another Liverpool hero is in action on fight night – Peter McGrail (5-0, 3KO). The Tokyo 2020 Olympian is back in the country's capital just a couple of years on from his last ever amateur bout. After exiting the Games early to the World No.1, McGrail turned pro and won his debut on points in October 2021. Since then, he has stopped four opponents in a row to reach 5-0 within his first year in the paid ranks. His sixth outing comes against Hiroshima's Hironori Miyake (9-12-2, 1KO).
Trained by Paul Stevenson at the talent-packed Everton Red Triangle gym, 26-year-old McGrail will be looking to continue his knockout streak, but only one man from 23 has ever stopped Miyake, so this will provide the southpaw with a real test just before Christmas.
Naoya Inoue vs Paul Butler
12×3 Undisputed bantamweight titles
Peter McGrail vs Hironori Miyake
Yoshiki Takei vs Bruno Tarimo
12×3 OPBF super-bantamweight title
Andy Hiraoka vs Min Ho Jung
12×3 WBO Asia Pacific super-lightweight title
Satoshi Shimizu vs Landy Cris Leon
12×3 OPBF featherweight title
Takuma Inoue vs Jake Bornea