Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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CEBU ? WBO Oriental junior featherweight titlist Jhack ?El Kapitan? Tepora will face what could very well be his most difficult opponent to date on July 7 in Tagbilaran City, Bohol when he defends his regional title against Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez.

The 23 year old Dominguez (21W-5L-2D,13KO?s) is Mexico?s champion in the 122lb division. He previously held the WBC interim FECOMBOX super bantamweight title. His ring moniker ?Veneno? means venom or poison.

Tepora (20W-0L,15KO?s), a 24 year old southpaw from Cebu, is very much aware of the reputation of Mexican boxers for being tough, pressure fighters with uncanny endurance.

?I have trained twice as hard for this fight. We did a lot of drills so I can match the Mexican?s endurance. I sparred with Tomjune Mangubat and Jerry Castroverde.? Tepora said during the press conference held Wednesday at the Omega-IPI conference room.

?I won?t make any knockout predictions,? he added, ?But I have seen videos of his fights and I know I can take him. Kaya ra.?

They will fight in the main event of the fifth installment of the ?WHO?S NEXT?? Pro Boxing series.

Tepora has made short work of his recent opponents, his last four fights ending in abbreviated fashion. In fact, ?WHO?S NEXT? 4?, which was held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel last March, was heavily criticized by members of the sports media for the one-sided outcome against Indonesian boxers.

Omega Pro Sports,International (OPSI) President Pio Paulo Castillo owned up the fiasco and acknowledged that the match-ups did not bring out the best in their boxers. This became their motivation to come up with better quality opponents for the next show.

?Jack?s fight with Dominguez will be an exciting fight. In fact, I cannot predict the outcome, Win or lose, the boxing industry and the fans will be happy with this card.? Castillo stated.

Castillo also talked about the difficulty of finding a good opponent for Tepora. In fact, they made calls to ten different boxers and they got turned down. He emphasized that in the main bouts, if the Omega boxers win, this will put them a step closer to fighting for a world title.

Tepora is the franchise boxer of the Omega gym and is ranked number 12 in the world in the May rankings of the WBO.

The main supporting bout will be the rematch between Christian ?The Bomb? Araneta (14-0,12KO?s) of the Omega gym and Jessie Espinas (16W-2L,11KO?s). Araneta, the reigning WBO Oriental light flyweight titlist, beat Espinas by eighth round TKO last September 12, 2015 in Danao City in a non-title contest.

Espinas back then was the favored fighter. Araneta said he managed to match Espinas punch for punch until Espinas was bleeding and had to turn his back. Espinas has since bounced and has even won three straight fights in Thailand.

What makes this match more crucial is that Espinas is ranked number five by the WBO while Araneta is number seven. A win by either fighter would move him closer to facing WBO 108 lb division world champ Kosei Tanaka of Japan.

Also penned on the card are two battle tested fighters, Jerry Castroverde vs Anthony Sabalde, for the vacant PBF junior lightweight title and Jahleel Payao vs Jestoni Autida for the PBF bantamweight belt.

Fight fans in Bohol will also get to see Omega gym tough guy Kenny Demecillo against Renan Portes. Demecillo just came from stint in Japan as a hired sparring partner.

Completing the card are Jason Redondo vs Alvin Makiling, Tomjune Mangubat vs Eddie Estibat, Feljun Taneo vs Gerpaul Valero, Allan Villanueva vs Jeffrey Stella, Mark Vicelles vs Lenmar Precillas and Oliver Genecera vs Jeco Suico.

?WHO?S NEXT?? 5 will be held July 7 at the Island City Mall of Tagbilaran City.

WHO'S NEXT 5? IN BOHOL: Jhack Tepora and Christian Araneta (with belts) pose with Omega Pro-Sports International executives headed by its president Pio Paulo Castillo (C) and trainers during the launching of 'Who's Next? 5' at the IPI compound in Mabolo, Cebu Wednesday.

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

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