They have scaled the peak and tumbled. Not once, but twice.
Whether Marlon Tapales or Aston Palicte can still regain their footing and crawl back up will mainly depend on their showing on Saturday, November 21 when they tackle separate opponents behind closed doors at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City.
Tapales, a former world champion, is pitted against veteran Eden Sonsona while Palicte, a two-time world title challenger, is matched with unheralded Reymark Taday in the co-feature of the closed door card, aptly dubbed "The Restart" by Sanman Promotions head JC Manangquil.
Stopped by Japanese Rysosuke Iwasa in his last bout on December 12, 2019, Tapales, who yielded the WBO bantamweight crown to the scales before beating Shohei Omori in Osaka in 2017, checked in at 132 pounds, 4 pounds less than Sonsona during the official weigh-in on Friday.
Sonsona (36-11-2, 13 KOs) has lost his last 5 fights and should be easy to handle for Tapales (33-3, 16 knockouts) in their 8-round encounter.
The power-punching Palicte, who battled Donnie Nietes to a draw in their title duel for the vacant WBO super flyweight belt, got stopped by Kazuto Ioka in his second crack at the 115-pound title before getting stunned by unheralded countryman Renz Rosia in 2019.
Shortly before the Luzon-wide lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Palicte, who weighed an exact 118 pounds against Taday's 116, stopped Jonathan Franciso to raise his record to 26-4-1 with 22 knockouts.
According to Sanman head JC Manangquil, if Tapales wins in dominant fashion, MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons will try to arrange a title fight for him next year.
As to Palicte, Manangquil said he'll be given a big fight early next year if he beats Taday (10-12-1, 5 knockouts) convincingly.
Also on tap are bouts between junior flyweights Joey Canoy (15-4-1, 8 KOs) and Jovab Lucas (4-2-2, 2 KOs); flyweight prospect Dave Apolinario (13-0, 8 KOs) and Bonjun Loperez (12-13-1, 6 KOs); and super featherweight Michael Casama against Virgil Degoma. – Rappler.com