With his performances becoming more and more spectacular, Naoya Inoue solidified himself as one of the best fighters in the entire world. His placement amongst boxing’s pound-for-pound elite was seemingly justified following his undisputed run at 118 pounds.

Although his championship mantle began to overflow with golden trinket after golden trinket, the Japanese native craved even more challenges. Anxiously raising his hand, of course, was Stephen Fulton.

After releasing his bantamweight titles, Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) is now scheduled to take on Fulton on May 7 in Japan, in an attempt to snag his WBO and WBC super bantamweight titles.

Fulton, 28, has pushed his way to the front of the super bantamweight line following a string of strong performances. In January of 2021, Fulton embarked on his championship journey, cruising to a unanimous decision victory over Angelo Leo, and grabbing his first world title. Just a few months later, Fulton (21-0, 8 KOs) stripped Brandon Figueroa of his WBC crown, unifying the division. Most recently, Fulton ushered Daniel Roman to his seat at the retirement table via wide unanimous decision this past June.

Still, despite becoming the man to beat at 122 pounds, Fulton finds himself as a slight underdog heading into his bout against Inoue. While he has yet to compete above 118, Bob Arum, his longtime promoter, wholeheartedly agrees with the decision of oddsmakers. After watching Inoue up close and personal for a number of years now, Arum has expressed on numerous occasions that Inoue is currently the best of the best. Even with Fulton coming in confident in his ability to tatter his record, Arum is convinced that no one, including Fulton, can match up with the fighter nicknamed the “Monster.”

“I don’t think anybody beats Inoue,” said Arum to iD Boxing. “The monster is the monster and he's the monster for a reason.”