Tapales, Tepora move closer toward title shot

Roy Luarca
Tapales, Tepora move closer toward title shot
Proving they deserve their second chance, former champions Marlon Tapales and Jhack Tepora flash their punching prowess in separate wins in California



MANILA, Philippines – Former world champions Marlon Tapales and Jhack Tepora proved they’re worthy of another title crack by trouncing separate opponents on Saturday, June 1 (Sunday, June 2, Philippine time) at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.

In another display of punching power, Tapales knocked out Mexican Robert Castaneda in the 3rd round of their super bantamweight tussle.

Taking advantage of the second chance given him by MP Promotions, Tepora also beat American Jose Luis Gallegos by unanimous decision in a featherweight clash.

Both Tapales, the former World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion, and Tepora, the former World Boxing Association interim featherweight titlist, lost their crowns to the scales.

The 27-year-old Tapales got stripped of the title when he came in two pounds over against Shohei Omori in 2015 in Osaka, Japan, although he eventually knocked out the Japanese in the 11th round.

His knockout of Castaneda was the seventh straight for Tapales, who’s on a 12-win run since losing to Mexican David Sanchez in 2013.

Tapales, a protégé of Rex Wakee Salud, climbed to 33-2 with 16 knockouts and looked ready to contend for the crown.

Given another chance by MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons after checking in 5.5 pounds over against Hugo Ruiz last January, Tepora weighed in at 127 pounds, one pound below the contacted weight of 128.

Dominating Gallegos in his first fight in the United States, the 24-year-old Tepora stretched his victory streak to 23 with 17 knockouts.

Both southpaws, Tepora and Tapales were put under the tutelage of former world champion Rodel Mayol in Los Angeles, where they trained at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Informed of the wins by Tapales and Tepora, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao said on Sunday, “Magagaling na bata (They’re both good).” – Rappler.com


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