CEBUANO boxing sensation Jhack Tepora is in for a crucial fight with two-time interim world champion Oscar Escandon on Dec. 22, 2019 (PHL time) in one of the main supporting bouts of the World Boxing Council (WBC) light middleweight bout between Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
A win could earn him a world title shot, while a loss could hinder his road to stardom.
“This is a very important fight for me because if I win, I’m going to be given a world title fight,” the 24-year-old Tepora told SunStar Cebu.
According to Tepora, MP Promotions matchmaker Sean Gibbons promised him a world title shot if he beats Escandon.
Tepora is currently ranked No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), No. 9 in the WBC and No. 10 in the World Boxing Association (WBA).
Tepora, a former interim WBA featherweight champion, is in a good position to challenge IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington or fight for the mandatory spot in a world title eliminator.
Tepora trained in Las Vegas under new trainer Jorge Capitello.
“I have a very good coach and a team. I had a full training with high altitude roadwork and sparring,” he said.
Tepora had a disappointing start to the year after his title defense against Hugo Ruiz in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner fight was cancelled after tipping the scales almost six pounds over the weight limit.
Tepora, however, was given another chance by MP Promotions last June, wherein he beat Jose Luis Gallegos by unanimous decision.
The 35-year-old Escandon has lost his last three fights. However, he has fought some elite opposition in Gary Russell Jr., Moises Flores and Nehomar Cermeno.
“My training is 100 percent. But I won’t take any chances because I’m up against a two-time world champion. I’m very focused on this fight,” said Tepora.
Tepora is 23-0 with 17 knockouts, while Escandon is 25-5 with 17 knockouts. / EKA