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Dong Secuya
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List of Articles by Dong Secuya


 

TAPALES'S DREAM TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
23 Apr 2017



OSAKA, Japan – Marlon Tapales's dream of holding a world title belt for a long time and a nation's hankering for a new boxing star were dashed into pieces at the scales here Saturday afternoon when Tapales became a former WBO bantamweight champion after he was stripped of his belt for failing to make weight ahead of his scheduled fight with Japanese contender Shohei Omori today, Sunday, at the Edion Arena.

Everyone in the team was confident that Tapales would have no problem during the weighin as Tapales himself and his trainer Fernando Ocon assured that they had everything under control.

“I'm more comfortable in making weight here than in Bangkok,” Tapales, who had to shed extra pounds at the last minute for his fight against Pungluang Sor Singyu in July last year, told Philboxing earlier. Tapales was hovering at around 121-123 lbs, 3 to 5 lbs over the 118 lbs bantamweight limit during the last three days and to those in the know, this appear to pose little problem.

Tapales woke up Saturday morning 1.2 pounds over and under normal circumstances, this excess weight could easily be dropped with 30 minutes to an hour of exercise. But after taking the sauna, Tapales's excess weight wouldn't fall off and on his first try at the scales during the official weighin at 1 p.m., he was 1.75 lbs over. There was another problem as Tapales's personal scale was not synchronized with the official scale which most likely accounted for the weight difference. Another round with the sauna again failed to cut Tapales's excess weight and on the second attempt at the scale, he was even heavier at 1.93 lbs over the limit.

Top photo: Tapales (R) sits on the sideline after failing to make weight on the second try Saturday at Hotel Monterey in Osaka, Japan. With him is trainer Brix Flores.


Tapales loses his battle with the weighing scale.

Ocon said Tapales opted to lose weight via the sauna as Tapales was already too weak to try to lose weight by running due to his trying to shed excess weight the last couple of weeks.

Nicknamed 'The Nightmare', Tapales's battle at the scales turned out to be more formidable than the actual fight itself which have become anti-climactic for Tapales and all his supporters who came into this famous city hoping for a Sunday spectacle.

“I'd rather sleep than watch the fight,” said Yasuo Matsuoka, who came all the way from Manila just to watch this fight. Matsuoka, a Japanese who now resides in Manila, was the former manager of Filipino boxers Malcolm Tunacao and Rodel Mayol.

“I feel like going back to Thailand now,” echoed Thai boxing benefactor Naris Singwancha who arrived in Osaka from Thailand Friday night.

Veteran boxing judge Levi Martinez, who is here as one of the judges on the Ioka-Sitthiprasert WBA title fight, told this writer after the weighin: “I've read in Philboxing that Tapales was in great shape, sparred more than 100 rounds, and now he fails to make weight. What happened?”

I told him: “Two things. Either he has really grown up above his weight, or his team doesn't know the proper approach in making weight.”

That of course has to be sorted out by Team Tapales as they agonize what to do next to Marlon's suddenly cryptic career.

Thus, the plan to have a unification bout with Japanese WBC champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, the possible historic fight against compatriot Arthur Villanueva or a possible trip to London against Zolani Tete, will have to be set aside for now – as the dream has suddenly turned into a nightmare. Note: Zolani Tete beat Arthur Villanueva earlier today in London and became the WBO Interim bantamweight champion after a late sanction by the WBO.


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