Sources in the Philippines have reported that terms are close to being agreed for a rematch between WBO Bantamweight champion WBO champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12) and Japan's once beaten Shohei Omori (18-1, 13) [大森 将平].
According to those sources the bout will take place on April 23rd and will take place in either Kyoto, where Omori is based, or Osaka, one of the biggest boxing mad areas in Japan.
Tapales is the only man to have beaten Omori, who had signed to fight IBF champion Lee Haskins for the end of last year before Haskins suffered an injury. Tapales' win over Omori was a dominant one with the Japanese fighter being sent to the canvas 3 times in the openign round before being stopped the following round, with Tapales simply being too powerful for the Japanese fighter.
Since that first bout between the two men Tapales has claimed the WBO title, with a stoppage win over Pungluang Sor Singyu in what was a 2016 FOTY contender and one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent years. That has however been Tapales' only bout since his December 2015 win over Omori and we must question his ring rust and activity going into what will be his first defense.
As for Omori he has remained relatively active with 3 bouts last year, all ending in stoppages with the most notable being a brilliant KO of Filipino veteran Rocky Fuentes. Although the competition hasn't been great since he was stopped by Tapales it's clear that Omori's team believe their man can win a world title, as seen in their deal with Haskins' as well as this one.
We'll admit that we've not heard any word from Japan regarding this bout, and we do wonder about the date, with big bouts usually staged a few days later to coincide with "The Golden Week", but the bout does fit with previous stories of these two fighters being in talks for a rematch.
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