Jhack returns home a champ, eyes world title shot

IT wasn’t too long ago when Jhack Tepora was just a young former amateur standout who was looking to make a name for himself in the pro ranks.

Tepora, unknown to most in the boxing world, finally made his presence felt after a one-punch stoppage victory over former International Boxing Organization (IBO) featherweight champion Lumanda Komanisi in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental featherweight fight last weekend in South Africa that turned the heads of some prominent boxing personalities.

u201cHe has been offered by a South African promoter to promote him. Another close to Top Rank also offered him to fight Oscar Valdez. Everything is still under review it will be a team effort. We will ask him (Tepora) if he’s ready for Oscar Valdez. We might take that direction if the offer is on the table. It’s not yet definite what happens next but if you ask us we want the title fight,” said Omega Pro Sports International (OPSI) vice president Jerome Calatrava.

The 23-year-old Tepora has Valdez at the top of his wish list of possible opponents.

Jinggoy Junco, one of Tepora’s trainers, feels that his ward is ripe for a world title fight.

u201cJhack is ready. He’s the face of the gym. We tested him fighting on a fight with a different promoter and he did it. For me, I believe he’s ready for a world title shot,” he said.

Tepora, who came in as an underdog, dropped Komanisi with a vicious right hook to the temple. The South African tried to stand up but was very wobbly, which forced the referee to wave the fight off in the second round.

Valdez defended his WBO featherweight belt against Filipino Genesis Servania last Sunday in the US. Valdez was dropped in the fourth round but survived the storm to return the favor to Servania in the following round en route to a unanimous decision victory.

u201cAgainst Oscar Valdez, I believe that he has a chance. We have a chance because he fights toe-to-toe and that is what Jhack wants,” said Junco.

Tepora, who trained in Baguio City for his fight with Komanisi, also feels that he has what it takes to dethrone Valdez.

u201cI think my advantage over Valdez is that I’m an intelligent fighter. He’s strong but I think I can outwit him,” he said.

Tepora is currently ranked ninth in the WBO super bantamweight division. After his win over Komanisi, he could possibly break into the stacked featherweight rankings, wherein Valdez is the champion and Filipino fighters Servania, Mark Magsayo and Albert Pagara are currently ranked in the top 15. (EKA)

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