PROMISING Cebuano pug Jhack Tepora has to fight intelligently if he intends to fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion.
Tepora will get his first crack at a world title when he trades leathers with Mexican Edivaldo Ortega for the World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight belt in the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
“His opponent is a typical Mexican warrior who’s always on the attack. But I think Edivaldo is slow. As long as he fights smart, fights at a distance and works with the jab, we will finish the job early,” Tepora’s head coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.
The 23-year-old Tepora is a skillful boxer who can pack a punch with either hand.
Junco feels that that his young ward will have the edge in speed, power and skills.
“He (Ortega) has a bit of power but not that much. He’s tough and a grinder but he’s nothing special,” he said. “He has no side-to-side movement and just pushes forward. He throws a volume of punches but is flat-footed and doesn’t have hand speed.” Since suffering his first loss in the hands of Eduardo Ramirez, Ortega has won back-to-back fights, beating both former world champions Tomas Rojas and Drian Francisco.
Tepora, on the other hand, made his presence felt in the world boxing scene after an impressive second round knockout of Lusanda Komanisi to win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental featherweight belt last September in South Africa.
Tepora will be in his biggest fight to date in also his first time fighting in a huge international event.
“I’m ready,” Tepora said. “I’m not intimidated at all, I’m excited.” Tepora is 21-0 with 16 knockouts, while the 28-year-old Ortega is 26-1-1 with 12 knockouts The main event of “Fight of Champions” features Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) challenging WBA welterweight king Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs). (EKA)