Filipino boxers

Pacquiao gifts Filipinos with historic Tapales-Inoue title fight on free TV

Roy Luarca

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Pacquiao gifts Filipinos with historic Tapales-Inoue title fight on free TV

BELTS. Marlon Tapales with his world titles.

Marlon Tapales Facebook page

Marlon Tapales hopes to become the first Filipino undisputed champion as he battles Japan's Naoya Inoue in a super bantamweight unification bout

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos can now watch on free television Marlon Tapales’ historic title fight with Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo on December 26.

This developed as boxing legend Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions joined forces with Cignal TV and Arena Plus to air the Tapales-Inoue super bantamweight unification collision.

Tapales, the holder of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation crowns, seeks to become the first Filipino undisputed champion when he battles the fearsome Inoue, the reigning World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Council titlist and current pound-for-pound king.

Apart from a hostile crowd, Tapales, who totes a 37-win, 3-loss card with 19 knockouts, will have to contend with the skillful and powerful Inoue, tagged a -2000 favorite by oddsmakers owing to his sterling 25-0 slate with 22 knockouts.

This means a P2,000 bet on Inoue would earn just P100 if he wins. On the other hand, an upset by Tapales, a +1000 underdog, on the other hand, would earn P1000 for every P100 wager.

Knowing the significance of the Tapales-Inoue clash, Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, decided to make it available on as many platforms as possible.

“This is my gift to the Filipinos, for them to be able to watch Marlon’s bid to become the first undisputed champion in Philippine boxing history,” said Pacquiao.

Joe Ramos, MP Promotions CEO, said making the Tapales-Inoue fight available in the Philippines is part of the company’s mission to spotlight Filipino athletes on the biggest stage.

Live coverage starts at 7 pm on One Sports and the Pilipinas Live app. Former world champion Jerwin Ancajas will be on the panel with Anthony Suntay and Carlo Pamintuan.

“As part of our ongoing mission of bringing sports throughout the country, we are proud to partner with Cignal and ArenaPlus to show Tapales-Inoue live here in the Philippines,” said Ramos.

“Cignal is honored to partner with MP Promotions to ensure that the big boxing event featuring our very own, Marlon Tapales, is accessible to all Filipino boxing fans,” said Sienna G. Olaso, the head of channels and content for Cignal TV.

A prime Tapales, who held his training camp in Baguio City, did a light workout for the media at the Elorde Plus Gym in Parañaque. Accompanied by coach Elner Fontanilla and his manager and promoter JC Manangquil, Tapales flew to Japan on Tuesday.

Just a few pounds off the 122-pound limit, Tapales said he’d go all-out to surpass Inoue, a four-division world champion already hailed as an all-time great like Pacquiao. –

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