Philippines, 12 Apr 2021
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Tapales thrives in adversity, targets the 'best of the best'


PhilBoxing.com




Saying that he would not back down from any challenge, newly crowned WBO bantamweight champion Marlon "The Nightmare' Tapales of Cebu's RWS Stable said he wants to fight the best of the best in his division where he plans to reign for a longer period of time.

"I want to fight the best out there. I don't care whoever my opponent will be and wherever the fight will be held," said Tapales in vernacular during an interview with sportswriters over dinner the other day at the RWS Gym he fondly calls his home. "It all depends on my manager (Wakee Salud) but I will face whoever is pitted against me."

The 24-year-old Tapales became the newest toast of Philippine boxing after he courageously recovered from two knockdowns in the fifth round on the way to stop two-time world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in the 11th round and wrest the WBO 115-pound title last Wednesday at the historic ancient Thai capital of Ayutthaya, some two-hour drive from Bangkok.

That made Tapales (29-2, 12KOs) the fourth reigning Filipino world champion after Donnie "Ahas" Nietes (WBO light flyweight), Nonito "The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Jr. (WBO bantamweight) and Johnreil "Quadro Alas" Casimero (IBF flyweight).

When asked on what came to his mind after being decked by Sor Singyu, Tapales said "I just told myself to get up, think positive and never surrender."

Tapales said he was really hurt by Sor Singyu's solid body shot during the first time he went down the canvas. "When I fell for the second time, it was a bit intentional on my part because I want a little time to rest and refresh my self," narrated the fighting pride of Marnding, Lanao del Norte.

The scary moments Tapales went through also brought much tension to his corner manned by Fernando Ocon and Brix Flores. But they did not relent under pressure.

"I told Tapales to fight on and never give up. We've been training hard for nearly four months and we don't want to waste it away just like that. Also, I kept on telling him that this oppounity comes only once and we should make the most out of it," said Ocon.

Watching at the ringside, his mother Maria felt like she was struck by a lighting bolt upon seeing his son going down the canvas.

"I felt very scared at the moment because it was the first time I see him going down the canvas," said Maria. "But I put all my trust to his trainers because they're the ones who know everything. Upon seeing that he's already okay, I just kept on cheering him up to the top of my lungs."

Egged on by the cheers of his mother and the inspiring words from his corner, a recharged Tapales came out firing in the six frame and relentlessly attacked Sor Singyu in the succeeding rounds.

"I knew I had him when I rocked him with a solid left hook towards the end of the 10th round. Had there been a little time left, I would have finished him off," said Tapales.

Smelling blood, Tapales went for the kill with a telling left-right combination that sent Sor Singyu sprawling the on the mat for good with 30 seconds into the penultimate round.

"I learned a lot from that fight. First and foremost is to always think positive. When things seems hard, don't ever give up," said Tapales.

Cunfucius the great once said that "our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Tapales is just happy to breathe life to that proverbial maxim that is applicable to everyday living.

"Hopefully I will be champion for a longer period of time. That is one goal I have set for myself," said Tapales.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel B. Villaruel.


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