Tapales confident about losing weight by today

Edri K. Aznar

WORLD Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Marlon Tapales is confident that he’ll shed off the excess pounds just in time for today’s weigh-in of his first title defense.

“It is only a little, just two pounds already,” the 25-year-old Tapales told SunStar Cebu yesterday. “I have no problem with it, I’ll make weight tomorrow (today) morning.”

Tapales defends his title against Japanese Shohei Omori in a rematch at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan tomorrow night.

Tapales had to shed of the extra weight in the past few days and is just two pounds over the 118-pound limit, which he said is his usual weight a day before weigh-in.

“I’ve been focused on my weight cut,” said Tapales. “I’m very much ready for the fight.”

Tapales said that it won’t bother his conditioning and that he’ll easily trim down to 118 pounds on the day of the weigh-in by running in the morning.

Tapales fought the 24-year-old Omori in 2015 in a WBO bantamweight title eliminator. Tapales shocked Omori dropped him three times in the opening round. He caught Omori with a counter jaw that dropped and dazed the young Japanese. Omori stood up but was still wobbled, that was when Tapales didn’t give him anytime to recover and smothered him with a flurry of blows that forced the referee to stop the fight in the second round.

Since their first meeting, Tapales just fought once, an impressive 11th round knockout of Pungluang Sor Singyu to claim the WBO bantamweight title. Omori, on the other had, had been busy and fought thrice, winning all three that included a knockout win over former world title challenger Rocky Fuentes.

Tapales is 29-2 with 12 knockouts, while Omori is 18-1 with 13 kncokouts.

In the undercard, former WBO Oriental featherweight champion Neil John Tabanao takes on Japanese prospect Teiru Atsumi in a six-round fight. Tabanao, Tapales’ stablemate at the Rex Wakee Salud Gym, has lost his last two fights and looks to end that slump. The 23-year-old Atsumi, in the meantime, is on a six-fight winning streak that spans from late 2014. Tabanao is 13-3 with nine knockouts. Atsumi is 12-1 with six knockouts.