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List of Articles by Rene Bonsubre, Jr.


 

TEPORA EYES WORLD TITLE SHOT

By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
PhilBoxing.com
26 Sep 2017



CEBU CITY - Newly crowned WBO Inter-continental featherweight champ Jhack “El Capitan” Tepora and the Omega Pro Sports International (OPSI) top brass were beaming with pride when they spoke to the Cebu sports media two days after his stunning victory in South Africa.

Tepora knocked out Lusanda Komanisi, a former IBO world titleholder, in his first overseas outing as a professional. His victory was not just a statement against those who questioned whether he had what it takes to win on the road against a live opponent but he also sent a message to the 126 lb division that there is a new heavy hitter waiting in the wings.

“My training in Baguio prepared me for this fight,” Tepora said. “I was able to adjust to the climate of South Africa. I would like to thank the Omega gym management for allowing me to train there.”

“I was really tired after the long airplane ride,” He added, “I arrived in South Africa Monday, but my body was able to recover on Wednesday.”

“We actually had trouble looking for videos of Komanisi,” Omega gym trainer Julius Erving Junco said, “We assumed he was a stylist, so we prepared Jhack to fight against someone who would move a lot. On fight night, when we saw that he was a slugger, we knew he was perfect for Jhack’s fighting style and he would knockout the South African.”

“Jhack trained with the members of the national team because these guys are very good at moving around, the kind of style we assumed we would face. “ Junco added. “Jhack already knows how to pace himself, control his breathing and how to relax inside the ring during his stint with our national team.”

“I knew I could take his punches when he started trading,” Tepora said.He was also accompanied by trainer and brother Jingjing Tepora in South Africa.

OPSI VP Jerome Calatrava declared that with this victory, Tepora is ready for a world title shot. “We have a chance against anyone who will stand toe to toe with Jhack.” He said.

Tepora feels more comfortable at 126 lbs. He is the current WBO Oriental champ at 122lbs and is ranked number nine. His win will certainly catapult him into the featherweight rankings where WBO world champion Oscar Valdez awaits.

Also over the weekend, Valdez successfully defended his title by unanimous decision against Filipino Genesis Servania in Arizona.

Tepora feels he can take on Valdez and said that his ability to adjust and adapt inside the ring is his main advantage.

Calatrava is also open to the possibility of Tepora defending his WBO Inter-continental belt here in the Philippines but he revealed they have received offers even from the South African promoter and international matchmakers, including those who work with Top rank, who are now are eyeing Tepora.

But Tepora and the Omega Gym trainers are not resting on their laurels. They know they have to do more work in the gym.

“He has to develop his body punching.”Junco stated, “His offense will be more effective if he goes to the body more.”

Tepora said he is the same person he was before the big win, and he also feels he needs to get better.

Aside from Valdez, the featherweight division is stacked with talented champions – Leo Santa Cruz (WBA super), Gary Russell (WBC) and Lee Selby (IBF) and big names like Abner Mares (WBA regular), contenders Joseph Diaz, fellow Pinoy Mark Magsayo, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg.

Tepora (21-0,16KO’s) was labeled by the South African television commentator as “the Philippines best kept secret.”

Well, the secret is out.

Photo: Jhack Tepora (C) flanked by trainer Julius Jungco (L) and OPSI vice-president Jerome Calatrava (R) during Monday's presscon at the Abuhan Dos in Cebu City.


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