The skills and intangibles that Stephen Fulton brings to the table is not at all lost on Naoya Inoue.

It is why the unbeaten former three-division titlist targeted the reigning WBC/WBO junior featherweight titlist for his first fight at a fourth weight division. Inoue and his team met with Fulton’s representatives and quickly worked out a deal for their highly anticipated showdown, which headlines an ESPN+ telecast in the U.S. (Tuesday, 4:30 a.m. ET; 8:00 a.m. ET expected main event ring walk) from Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

“I feel extremely motivated and fully prepared,” Inoue told the assembled media during the final pre-fight press conference Saturday in Tokyo. “This is my first fight (at 122) and I am ready. That is why I am highly motivated.

“I have high expectations for myself. I’m eager to show the type of performance I can deliver.”

Odds have increased in the past few days. Inoue is now a healthy -400 favorite according to bet365. The same sportsbook lists Fulton (21-0, 8KOs) as a +300 underdog, despite the Philadelphia native coming in as the natural 122-pound fighter with a distinct size advantage and as the defending champ.

Fulton came up the hard way to earn his stripes as the class of the junior featherweight division. Inoue (24-0, 21KOs) is the tenth unbeaten opponent that Fulton will have faced through just 22 pro bouts, seven of which predated his WBO title win over Angelo Leo who was 21-0 at the time of their January 2021 clash. Fulton is also the only fighter to defeat Brandon Figueroa, who was 22-0-1 when the two collided in their terrific November 2021 WBC/WBO title unification bout, won by Fulton via majority decision.

Inoue (24-0, 21KOs) has only faced one undefeated fighter prior to challenging Fulton. Fittingly, it came in his first true bantamweight title win versus Puerto Rico’s Emmanuel Rodriguez, who was 19-0 and the reigning IBF bantamweight titlist before Inoue slaughtered him in less than two rounds.

The win began the road to the undisputed crown for Inoue, who defeated Nonito Donaire via unanimous decision in November 2019 to add the WBA belt and again via second-round knockout for the WBC title last June. An eleventh-round stoppage of WBO titleholder Paul Butler completed the run, which saw Inoue become the first Asian boxer to fully unify any division in the multi-belt era.

He is now a win away from becoming Japan’s first-ever two-division unified titlist and the nation’s third boxer to win at least one title in four or more weight divisions. It is not at all lost on him, though, that Fulton is a cut above perhaps every other opponent he’s faced through nearly eleven years as a pro.

“I’ve watched a lot of tape on Fulton. I think he’s a very composed and accomplished boxer,” acknowledged Inoue. “He’s also very smart in the ring.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox