Tapales faces Thai in ring return

COMEBACK. Former world champion Marlon Tapales (left) will face Nattapong Jankaew for the vacant WBC Asian continental crown. /
COMEBACK. Former world champion Marlon Tapales (left) will face Nattapong Jankaew for the vacant WBC Asian continental crown. / CONTRIBUTED

AFTER his loss to Japanese superstar Naoya Inoue, former world champion Marlon Tapales returns to the ring tonight, May 10, 2024, and takes on Thai Nattapong Jankaew for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Continental super bantamweight crown at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.

The 32-year- old Tapales is looking to bounce back from his 10th-round knockout defeat to Inoue last Dec. 26, 2023 in Japan.

Tapales is still ranked highly in two of the four major world boxing sanctioning bodies - No. 3 by the WBC and No. 5 by International Boxing Federation (IBF).

After losing two of his three fights last year, the 27-year-old Jankaew won a tune-up fight against newcomer Woraphon Saecha last March 30, 2024 in Thailand.

Tapales is 37-4 with 19 knockouts, while Jankaew is 12-3 with eight knockouts.

Former interim world titleholder Reymart Gaballo faces Mexican Kenbun Torres in the co-main feature.

Since losing to Nonito Donaire Jr. in a world title fight in 2021, Gaballo has been working his way back up the world bantamweight ladder. He’s currently rated No. 1 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 4 by the IBF.

Gaballo won his last three contests and is coming off a first-round knockout of Phai Pharob last Feb. 13, 2024 in Pasay City.

Torres, in the meantime, beat Chinese Chengcheng Yang by majority decision.

Gaballo is 27-1 with 22 knockouts, while Torres is 13-5 with nine knockouts. / EKA

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