EX-WORLD champions Marlon Tapales and Jhack Tepora are fighting very crucial fights Sunday, June 2, 2019, that could dictate the future of their careers.
Tapales, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight king, slugs it out with Mexican veteran Roberto Castañeda, while the ex-interim World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Tepora trades leathers with Jose Luis Gallegos at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California.
“These are important fights for both of them. For Marlon, this is his step-up fight so that he’ll be given another chance to fight for a world title. He must have an impressive showing in this fight. He has to knock out his opponent. The pressure is on Marlon Tapales,” former world champion Rodel Mayol, who trains both Tapales and Tepora, told SunStar Cebu.
Since losing his title on the scales in his rematch with Shohei Omori in 2017, Tapales is itching at another world title shot, this time at the heavier super bantamweight class.
“Each fight is important for me because this could be the key to another world title shot,” said Tapales, who is coming off a fifth-round stoppage of Fernando Parra in February.
Tapales, ranked No. 4 in the WBO, is 32-2 with 15 knockouts, while Castañeda is 23-11-2 with 16 knockouts.
Tepora is eager to silence his doubters after tipping the scales in what could have been his US debut as the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner show in Las Vegas. Tepora was forced to pull out of the the fight and was stripped of his belt later on.
“Jhack Tepora, on the other hand, is in for one of the most important fights of his career because this is his first fight in America. The last time Jhack was here, he failed to make weight, which was the reason he lost his WBA interim crown. He earned a lot of bashers, which also puts a lot of pressure on him. He made his weight this time and was even a pound lower at 127 pounds on their contacted weight limit of 128 pounds,” said Mayol.
Under his guidance, Mayol made sure that Tepora was in tip-top condition in preparation for another push for a crack at another world title.
Tepora is 22-0 with 17 knockouts, while Gallegos is 16-6 with 12 knockouts. (EKA)