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Tapales in line for title shot


PhilBoxing.com



Tapales (R) and Estrella during their fight last weekend in Carson, CA.

Marlon Tapales cemented his claim as mandatory challenger of Uzbek super WBA/IBF superbantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev by halting Mexico’s Jose Estrella with a body shot at 1:39 of the second round in Carson City, California, yesterday morning (Manila time).

Tapales, who once held the WBO bantamweight title, is ranked No. 1 by the IBF and No. 9 by the WBO. He has won 15 of his last 16 fights since 2013 and his last 10 wins came inside distance. “We want Murodjon next,” said Tapales’ manager JC Manangquil who was at ringside. “He’s the mandatory challenger as the IBFs No. 1 contender and working hard with coaches Ernel Fontanilla and Ting Ariosa at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.” Tapales, 30, raised his record to 36-3, with 19 KOs. Estrella, 32, was counted out by referee Ray Cordova. Tapales said he didn’t expect the fight to end so early but his counter left to the body was on the button and Estrella went down in a heap. “Ready na ako para kay Murodjon,” he added.

“Marlon’s 10 months training in LA allowed him to become more efficient,” said Ariosa. “He was able to practice his moves and did it without getting winded. He learned new skills in footwork and combination punching. He trains religiously and while training, he eats what he needs not what he likes. Big credit to coach Ernel who’s one of the best in punchmitt workouts. He’ll produce champions for years to come and will continue even when I’m retired from training boxers.” Tapales will take a 1 1/2 month home rest before reporting back to Wild Card to prepare for Murodjon.

Manangquil said another SanMan fighter Mike Plania will face unbeaten Ra’eese Aleem in a Showtime co-main event in Houston on June 18. A win by Plania, 27, catapults him to a title shot as he’s now rated No. 4 by the WBO, No. 5 by the IBF and No. 8 by the WBA in the 122-pound ranks. Aleem, 31, is the IBF No. 8, WBC No. 9 and WBO No. 10 contender. Plania’s record is 26-1, with 13 KOs and he’s won his last 11 outings.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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