Tepora takes on ex-title challenger

FORMER interim World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight king Jhack Tepora is in for a tough assignment as he takes on former world title challenger Chris Avalos in a 10-rounder on Dec. 21, 2019 (US time) at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

“This will be a good fight because my opponent is world class. He has fought some of the best like Leo Santa Cruz, Oscar Valdez and Carl Frampton,” Tepora told SunStar Cebu.

After winning his US debut, a one-sided unanimous decision win over Jose Luis Gallegos last June 1, 2019, the 24-year-old Tepora has been training his heart out in Las Vegas under a new coach in Jorge Capetillo, famously known as Tyson Fury’s talented cutman.

Tepora, ranked No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and 10th in both the WBA and the World Boxing Council (WBC), is inching closer at a world title shot. However, he needs to get past Avalos, who’s a tough banger.

“I will have the same mentality. I won’t be forcing a knockout because I know my opponent is tough. I’ll focus on winning this fight. I have been training hard for this fight,” said Tepora.

The 30-year-old Avalos, however, has been on long layoff and last saw action in a world title fight with Leo Santa Cruz in 2017. He lost via an eighth round knockout.

Avalos lost four of his last six matches from 2015 to 2017. He lost to Santa Cruz, Mark Magsayo, Oscar Valdez and Carl Frampton all by knockouts.

Tepora is still unbeaten with a 23-0 slate with 17 knockouts, while Avalos is 27-6 with 20 knockouts. (JNP)