Mindanaoan Pinoy champ Tapales ready to defend title in Japan

WBO world bantamweight champion and Mindanao pride Marlon ‘The Maranding Nightmare’ Tapales faced the local media in a public workout at the Green Tsuda Boxing Gym located at Shinfukae here Wednesday afternoon ahead of his title defense against Shohei Omori this Sunday, April 30, at the 8,000-capacity Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan.

Tapales, from Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte,
answered pointed questions from the Japanese media including representatives from the Yumuri Shimbum and Kyodo News Agency. After answering questions, Tapales went on to do rounds on the punching bag, skipped ropes and did the mitts with trainer Fernando Ocon.

Tapales told the local media that he expects a much improved Omori whom he knocked out in the 2nd round during their first meeting on Dec. 16, 2015 which allowed Tapales to face and dethrone then Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu on July 29, 2016 in Thailand.

“Omori may want to get my title but I’m also determined to keep it,” Tapales told one reporter.

Asked whether his long layoff would affect his performance, Tapales said, “Before I fought Omori in 2015 I also had a long layoff and I knocked him out. It won’t affect me this time also.”

The local media here sees the Tapales-Omori fight as a big event and expects a crowd of 5,000 to 8,000 who will troop to Edion Arena this Sunday.