FORMER world champion Marlon Tapales is out to redeem himself in front of an American audience as he takes on Japanese Hiroaki Teshigawara in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight title eliminator on Nov. 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I’ll do my very best in training because I’m so eager to win so that I can make up for my last fight in the US,” Tapales told SunStar Cebu.
Tapales’ last fight in the US was a disaster. He fought Ryosuke Iwasa for the interim IBF super bantamweight strap in Brooklyn, New York in 2019. He got knocked down in the third round and was stopped in the 11th round.
The 29-year-old Tapales said that his mind wasn’t in that fight but expected to be razor-sharp in his upcoming fight against Teshigawara.
“I had a problem in my training camp. I wasn’t 100 percent. My mind was really not focused at that time,” he said. “I’m improving my defense and my movement for this fight.”
Tapales is currently training with unbeaten Pinoy super flyweight prospect Jade Bornea at the Brickhouse Boxing Club in Los Angeles, California under the guidance of coaches Ernel Fontanilla and Lucas Sugar. He also trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club sometimes.
Tapales, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion, last saw action on Nov. 21, 2020 in General Santos City and scored a second round stoppage of Eden Sonsona.
The 31-year-old Teshigawara is the current Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super bantamweight titleholder. He’s on a 10-fight winning streak since a split decision loss to Ryo Akaho in 2016.
Tapales is 34-3 with 17 knockouts, while Teshigawara is 22-2-2 with 15 knockouts.
The winner between the No. 4 ranked Tapales and the No. 3 rated Teshigawara becomes the mandatory challenger of IBF and World Boxing Association super bantamweight king Murodjon Akhmadaliev.
“This will be a great fight,” said Tapales. “I’m thankful that I have been given another chance. I’ll do my best to win this fight so that I’ll be able to fight for a world championship again.” (EKA)