By: Sanman Boxing
IBF number 1 superbantamweight Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales (W36 KO19 L3) is back in the gym as he prepares himself for world title shot against WBA-IBF Unified champ Murodjon Akmadaliev (W11 KO8 L0). Tapales recently made an easy work of Jose Estrella, knocking out the Mexican veteran in the second round. He is currently warming up at the Sanman Gym in General Santos and will fly to the US by end of the month for a more rigorous training camp.
Tapales hopes to fight Akhmadaliev this year. “I want him within this year. He is a great world champion and is very skilled and crafty. But I am confident my style is a great match to his and I have the arsenal to beat him. I leave the job of making the fight happen to my management and promotion team. I am always grateful to Sanman, Knucklehead Boxing, Viva and Shapiro sports for taking care of my career. I have been grinding hard in the gym and can’t wait for this fight to happen”, Tapales stated.
Sanman CEO and Tapales’ manager Jim Claude Manangquil witnessed the hard work and determination of Tapales. “ He is training hard everyday waiting for his opportunity. Tapales is a true warrior and he can beat Akhmadaliev”, Manangquil said.
By: Sanman Boxing
Former world champion and IBF top rated super bantamweight Marlon Tapales improved his record to W36 KO19 L3 as he made a quick work on Mexican Jose Estrella. Estrella came out game in the opening round but Tapales never allowed him to find his rhythm with the Filipino keeping the pressure on him. Tapales found an opening in the second stanza and bombed a vicious body shot which sent Estrella to the canvass for good.
With the win, Tapales has a more definite opportunity of facing the winner of the Akhmadaliev vs. Ronny Rios super bantamweight championship clash on June 25. The 30 year old Filipino is on a bouncing back winning streak with three stoppages after his TKO loss to Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan in late 2019.
According to Sanman CEO Jim Claude Manangquil who handles Tapales, they see Marlon champion again this year. “He has been grinding hard in the gym and is focused on winning another belt. God willing, he will face the winner of the Akhmadaliev-Rios winner”, Manangquil stated.
Tapales meanwhile wants to jump back into training and waste no time. "I am focused on becoming world champion again. I hope I entertained the fight fans with that fight. May God bless my endeavors”, Tapales said.
Yesterday the IBF officially ordered their Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (10-0, 7) [Ахмадалиев, Муроджон Кахарович] to begin negotiating with mandatory challenger Marlon Tapales (35-3, 18), himself a former WBO Bantamweight champion.
The bout, which will also likely see Akhmadaliev risking his WBA "super" title, came about after Tapales scored a 2nd round win over Japan's Hiroaki Teshigawara [勅使河原 弘晶] in December. That bout saw Tapales become the IBF mandatory and get a shot at becoming a 2-weight world champion.
Jake Donovan, reporting for BoxingScene, has reported that the teams have until February 2nd to negotiate a deal if they are intending to avoid purse bids. If it does go to purse bids things could get very interesting as Akhmadaliev is a Matchroom fighter and Tapales has been fighting on PBC shows in recent years.
The talented Akhmadaliev, arguably the best fighter at 122lbs, has defended his unified title twice. He made his first defense against former champion Ryosuke Iwasa [岩佐 亮佑], in what was a mandatory that Iwasa earned after beating Tapales, whilst he also beat Jose Velasquez last year, with Velasquez filling in at short notice for Ronny Rios. He will be looking at Tapales as a stepping stone to a major unification bout later in the year, and will also have to contend with a WBA mandatory later in the year.
As for Tapales he is looking at having another signature win, following his incredible 2016 win over Pungluang Sor Singyu. At times in recent years he has looked like he has aged, particularly in his loss to Iwasa, but when his back is against the wall he has shown what he can do, stopping not just Pungluang but also Shohei Omori, twice, and Teshigawara. He would be the under-dog against the unbeaten Uzbekistani champion, but should be considered a live under-dog, especially with his reputation for ripping up scripts.
Interestingly last night we saw two world title eliminators both taking place at Super Bantamweight, as the WBA and the IBF both held eliminators on the same night in different countries, both featuring Asian fighters.
The IBF eliminator was held in Carson, California, as saw the in form Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-3-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] fight outside of Korakuen Hall for the first time, as he faced former WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (35-3, 18).
This bout was shown on Showtime and WOWOW and saw Tapales put in one of his very best performances as he dominated Teshigawara. Teshigawara looked to try and get his jab into play in the first minute of the fight, but Tapales showed his experience, and avoided most of Teshigawara's shots whilst landing some solid ones of his own, including two really good right hooks. Those should have served as warning shots for Teshigawara, but the Japanese fighter didn't take the warning. With less than a minute of the first round left Tapales backed Teshigawara onto the corner and unloaded, with Jack Riess giving Teshigawara a count and decided the ropes kept him up. Teshigawara would then be dropped, this time hitting the canvas, and although he got to his feet he really had no idea where he was. The bout really should have been stopped there and then. Instead Reiss gave Teshigawara the benefit of the doubt, until he was dropped within seconds of round 2, and Reiss this time stopped the bout.
With the win Tapales gets a chance to fight for the IBF title, currently held by unbeaten Uzbekistani Murodjon Akhmadaliev (9-0, 7) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев].
The other world title eliminator took place in Mexico and saw former another former WBO Bantamweight champion book a world title fight. This time it was the turn of Tomoki Kameda (38-3, 20) [亀田和毅] who took a wide decision over Venezuelan fighter Yonfrez Parejo (24-5-1, 12) in what was a rather typical Kameda performance at Super Bantamweight.
Kameda, who was a very respectable puncher at Bantamweight, hasn't carried his power up, unlike Tapales. That showed here, as it has in pretty much everyone of his bouts at 122lbs. From round 1 to round 7 it was almost impossible to give anything to Parejo, who was out boxed, out fought, out sped and out thought. As Kameda slowed down Parejo began to have moments, notable in rounds 9 and 12, both of which he took on all 3 cards, but those were few and far between as Kameda looked comfortable and cruised to a clear decision win. After 12 rounds the scores were 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.
After the final bell Kameda revealed he had damaged his right hand, and had fought a lot of the bout effectively one handed. Regardless he dominated and booked his place in a world title fight, also against Murodjon Akhmadaliev, who is the unified WBA and IBF champion.
At the moment it's unclear whether Tapales or Kameda will be instilled as the next mandatory for Akhmadaliev, though sadly with two mandatory challengers waiting in the wings it seems almost impossible to imagine a bout between Akhmadaliev and Stephen Fulton, which would have given us an undisputed champion, taking place in 2022.
Notably the WBA situation is a confusing mess right now as Azat Hovhannisyan (20-3, 16) was also announced as the mandatory challenger for the WBA title in November. That leaves the potential that the Kameda Vs Paradejo bout wasn't a final eliminator, but just a "normal" eliminator, something that would likely be of surprise to the Japanese press who seemed to be of the under-standing that Kameda's bout was a final eliminator. As is often the case with the WBA, things are never quite as clear or as logical as they should be. It should be noted that their last mandatory challenger, Ronny Rios, also failed to get a shot after he was forced to pull out of a title bout late.
(Thanks to Deuce @rangerrollins for the information regaridng Hovhannisyan)
Later today many Western fans will get their first chance to see Japanese Super Bantamweight contender Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15) [勅使河原 弘晶] in action, as he takes on former WBO Bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales (34-3, 17) in an IBF Super Bantamweight world title eliminator.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both men made the 122lb limit with no issues, in fact both men were around 0.5lbs under the limit, and both looked in great shape for the bout.
Tapales, the naturally smaller man, seemed to be brimming with confidence, and he looked in, arguably, the shape of his career. Although not a big fighter, or a fighter with a hugely impressive looking record, he is a dangerous and gutsy fighter who has scored some great wins, and his bout with Pungluang Sor Singyu for the WBO Bantamweight title is a genuine forgotten gem of a bout, with incredible drama. He will know he needs a win here to get a chance to become a 2-weight world champion, but he'll also feel he's the under-dog.
Although unknown outside of Asia Teshigawara is "Mr Korakuen Hall", who is hugely popular at home thanks to fighting his entire career, so far, as the Holy Land of Japanese boxing. He has had an excellent run of results at home, beating several former world title challengers, and he'll known a win here will open up a world title fight in 2022 for him. Although not the most technically gifted fighter he's actually a smart boxer, who sets a unique rhythm that can upset fighters, and he's crafty. He's also a man who came through the ranks thanks to Koichi Wajima, and embodies some of Wajima's never say die mentality.
Despite only travelling to the US recently Teshigawara, also known was "Teshie", didn't explained that he wasn't tired, ans instead stated "I'm in great shape. Tomorrow I'll spend all my life defeating Tapales and win. I'll sell the name of Hiroaki Teshigawara to the United States,"
For fans wanting to watch this one, it will be featured on the card headlined by Nonito Donaire Vs Reymart Gaballo.
News! We try and give you the most interesting news stories from the Asian boxing world!