Tabanao faces Roach this weekend in Indio

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AFTER two postponements, former World Boxing Organization (WBO) Oriental featherweight champion Neil John Tabanao finally faces one-time world title challenger Lamont Roach Jr. in a 10-rounder on Oct. 31, 2020 (PH time) at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.

The fight was originally scheduled for March 19, but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was rescheduled on Aug. 28, but the event was scrapped after Jorge Linares, who was fighting in the main event, tested positive for Covid-19.

Now, the fight is finally a go and it will be in the undercard of the Jaime Munguia vs. Tureano Johnshon show.

The 26-year-old Tabanao is coming into this fight with a three-fight losing slump. He lost to Angelo Leo by unanimous decision in his US debut, followed by another unanimous decision defeat to Tremaine Williams, before losing to yet another unanimous verdict to Irving Turrubiartes in Mexico. This is Tabanao’s first fight of 2020.

He’s now based in the US, working as a caregiver.

Tabanao is known for his shocking third round stoppage over former Olympian Ibrahim Balla in 2016. He also fought but lost to former world champion Isaac Dogboe by unanimous decision that same year.

Roach Jr., 25, is eager to return to the winning column after losing in a world championship fight with WBO super featherweight champion Jamel Herring by unanimous decision on Nov. 9, 2019.

Tabanao is 17-7 with 11 knockouts, while Roach Jr. is 19-1-1 with seven knockouts. / EKA