Philippines, 30 Mar 2020
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TAPALES TO RECEIVE HERO?S WELCOME


PhilBoxing.com




Newly crowned World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Marlon ?The Nightmare? Tapales is expected to receive a hero?s welcome when he arrives this afternoon in Manila and quickly takes a connecting flight to Cebu where the Rex ?Wakee? Salud fighter is based.

Tapales becomes the fourth world champion nurtured by Salud who previously chartered the careers of brothers Dodie Boy and Gerry Penalosa and Malcom Tunacao.

Tapales becomes the fourth Filipino world champion alongside WBO light flyweight king Donnie Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino world champion, IBF flyweight champion Johnreil Casimero and WBO super bantamweight and five division world champion Nonito ?The Filipino Flash? Donaire.

Tapales and Salud both thought it was the end of Tapales? lifelong dream when he was dropped twice in the 5th round by hard-hitting and rugged two-time champion Pungluang Sor Singyu and was grimacing in pain but Puerto Rican referee Ramon Pena felt there was still some fight left in the Filipino as he had used quick combinations to set the pace in the early rounds and then danced out of trouble.

The long awaited fight took place at the Ayutthaya City park with Pungluang beginning to pressure Tapales in the 3rd round where he pushed him against the ropes and connected with three solid right hands in quick succession.

But Boxing Scene?s James Goyder reported that Tapales ?circled out and answered with a quick combination of his own with a right uppercut followed by a straight left cross.?

The Thai champion pressured Tapales in the 4th round and connected with a straight right to the body before once again trapping the challenger against the ropes and connected with solid right hands to the head and body.

The action exploded in the 5th round when Pungluang dropped Tapales with a vicious right hook to the body and although Tapalese beat the count he was clearly hurt as Pungluang swarmed all over him and dropped him for a second time with another right to the body.

It took Tapales a long time to get to his feet and referee Pena looked like he would call a halt but the courageous Filipino continued to cover up and fight back even as the champion tried to finish him off.

Behind on the scorecards of all three judges because of the two knockdowns, Pungluang appeared to tire even as Tapales turned aggressive and connected with what was described as ?a clubbing right hand? that dropped Pungluang whose punch output dropped almost totally after the knockdown.

Pungluang returned to pressure Tapales in the 7th round who retaliated landed with a nasty low blow and after a brief respite Pungluang returned to the fray with a series of punches that Tapales caught on his arms.

A tiring champion and the mandatory challenger who had to shed one pound before making weight at the official weigh-in and having to spend hours on the road to get to the venue also eased off in rounds eight and nine.

The action exploded in round eleven as Tapales nailed Pungluang with two cracking left hooks to the body g and followed this up with a terrific left straight that sent the champion flying backwards even as it became clear he was not going to beat the count.

Boxing Scene said ?It seemed that either exhaustion or an accumulation of punches had taken their toll on Pungluang who simply had nothing left. For Tapales it represented a stunning comeback and the defining moment of a professional career which up until this point had been lacking only a world title.?

The end came some 37 seconds into the penultimate round and saw Tapales crowned as the new WBO 118 lbs champion. His record improves to 29-2 while Pungluang drops to 52-4 after suffering a first ever loss on Thai soil.

WBO official fight supervisor Leon Panoncillo told The Standard ?It was one of the best fights I?ve ever seen in Thailand.?

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer praised the courage of Tapales while trainer/matchmaker and former world title challenger EDito ?Ala? Villamor who had initiated talks with ?Wakee? Salud to recruit Tapales under the banner of the famed ALA Promotions commended Tapales for his fighting heart and said ?his mindset was to win. And he did.?


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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