The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee approved on Monday, June 5, 2023, that Marlon Tapales, WBA super bantamweight champion, will unify his belt against the winner of Naoya Inoue and Stephen Fulton. Meanwhile, Murodjon Akhmadaliev and Tomoki Kameda must meet in a final eliminator to determine the division’s mandatory challenger.
Tapales defeated Akhmadaliev last April 8 to retain the crown in a controversial and close fight. Matchroom Boxing made a direct rematch request to the WBA and although there are elements that could support it, it is not feasible to do so at this time.
The new champion and his team asked the WBA for permission to fight the winner of Inoue and Fulton, whose bout will be on July 25. This bout would be a unification of the WBA, IBF, WBC and WBO titles, which is a powerful reason to admit it for the sake of boxing.
Akhmadaliev will now fight Kameda, who won a semi-final eliminator against Yonfrez Parejo and the winner of this fight will be the next opponent of whoever wins between Tapales / Inoue /Fulton on a date to be determined later.
This resolution leaves without effect any other that has been issued before and any upcoming situation will be reviewed and resolved with the use of the WBA rules.