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BONSUBRE: BAD WEEKEND FOR PHILIPPINE BOXING


PhilBoxing.com




It was heartbreaking to look at photos of a distraught and dehydrated Marlon Tapales being told by the WBO fight supervisor that he was already an ex-champion without even taking a single punch from his Japanese opponent, Shohei Omori.

I can only imagine what was going through his mind, knowing there was a contingent of Filipinos and foreign friends of boxing manager and promoter Wakee Salud who traveled with him to Osaka, Japan with big expectations.

Tapales has yet to cash in on his boxing career. He was looking forward to bigger paydays, bigger fights. This was supposed to be his first title defense. He was 1.93 lbs over the bantamweight limit on his second try.

This fiasco led to the fight between Arthur Villanueva and South African Zolani Tete in Leicester, United Kingdom being sanctioned by the WBO as an interim world title fight. This was supposed to be an eliminator for a shot at Tapales? title.

I don?t recall Villanueva ever facing a tall, shifty and skillful southpaw in his eight year pro career. So fighting Tete must have been like facing an alien.

It was only a flash knockdown when Villanueva was counted in round eleven. But it was devastating to a boxer who had to play catch-up all the way. All Tete needed to do was not get caught with a Hail Mary punch in the twelfth round. The scores ? 120-107, 119-108 twice ? showed Tete?s overall dominance.

Tete (25-3,20KO?s) is a former IBF world super flyweight champion. This was the second attempt at the world championship level for Villanueva (30-2,16KO?s), who fights out of the ALA gym of Cebu. Two years ago, he fought Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo for the title vacated by Tete and lost a 10th round technical decision in Texas.

Tapales however did what most Filipino fight pundits expected. He knocked out Omori again, this time it took much longer.

Tapales 11th round TKO win over Omori meant that the WBO world bantamweight title is vacant but Tete could very well be elevated to regular champion.

Last December 2015, Tapales stopped Omori in two rounds. Tapales, who fights out of the RWS Gym of Cebu, is now 30-2,13KO?s while Omori drops to 18-2,13KO's.

Villanueva is 28 years old. He may get another world title shot. Same goes for Tapales, who is only 25. But the RWS gym trainers will have to ponder if Tapales can still fight at 118 lbs.

The much talked about all-Filipino world title showdown will remain a dream for the meantime.

It was on May 2, 1925 when Pancho Villa successfully defended his world flyweight crown against countryman Clever Sencio by fifteen round unanimous decision in Wallace Field, Manila.
In 1938, two boxers from La Carlota, Negros Occidental, Small Montana and Little Dado fought for California version of world flyweight title in Oakland, California. Dado won a points verdict after ten rounds.

Another world title fight between two Filipinos could still happen if former two-division champion John Riel Casimero of Ormoc City, Leyte - who has stated his intention to fight at 115lbs - will get to challenge the reigning IBF super flyweight champ Jerwin Ancajas of Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

Photo ? Marlon Tapales (left) and Arthur Villanueva during the 35th SMB-SAC Cebu Sports Awards last February.


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


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