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WILL TAPALES GIVE OMORI ANOTHER NIGHTMARE?


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY ? Marlon ?The Nightmare? Tapales is set to make the first defense of his WBO world bantamweight title this April 23 in Osaka, Japan in a rematch against Shohei Omori.

It was on December 16, 2015 when Tapales stunned the erstwhile unbeaten Omori with a second round TKO win in Kyoto in a WBO title eliminator. Tapales jumped the gun on Omori and overwhelmed him from the opening bell and decked him multiple times.

Tapales would go on to dethrone Thailand?s Pungluang Sor Singyu (Panya Uthok) in dramatic fashion seven months later. Tapales was down twice due to body shots in the fifth but still found the strength to fight on and deck Pungluang in the sixth. Tapales would finish the Thai in the eleventh round.

Tapales however has not seen action for the past eight months due to cancellation of his planned defense sometime in December. But he continued to train with a sense of purpose.

Since the loss to Tapales, Omori racked up three KO wins. In his last fight, he knocked out Filipino Rocky Fuentes in three rounds.

Both Tapales (29W-2L,12KO?s) and Omori (18W-1L,13KO?s) are southpaws.

The 24 year old Tapales was one of the fourteen boxers awarded last Tuesday during the 35th SMB-SAC Cebu Sports Awards. Tapales was a major awardee together with fellow Cebu-based world champs John Riel Casimero and Milan Melindo. Two-division champ Donnie Nietes was elevated to Cebu Sports? Hall of Fame.

?I continued to train hard even when my defense was cancelled. I did not let it bother me but it made me train harder.? Tapales told this writer before the awards ceremony.

His chief trainer, former boxer Fernando Ocon was also on hand and he said they are doubly prepared for Omori.

?I won?t predict another KO win,? Ocon stated, ?We know he is also preparing and making adjustments. He won?t make the same mistakes.?

?But we are ready. Marlon?s punches are even sharper now,? Ocon declared. ?He only went home two weeks since winning the world title and came back to train.?

?Winning the world title has not changed Marlon,? Ocon added, ?He remains humble and works hard in the gym.?

Philboxing editor Dong Secuya has seen Tapales? sparring sessions and echoed Ocon?s statements that Tapales? punches are sharper and harder than ever before.

Photo: Marlon Tapales during Tuesday SMB-SAC Awards held at SM City Cebu.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..


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