Tepora told: keep head in the game

CEBUANO boxing coach Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora gave his former ward and younger brother Jhack Tepora a very important piece of advice after the latter suffered his first career loss.

Christopher told Jhack to always keep his head in the game and never underestimate his opponent, no matter who he is.

“He just got hit,” Christopher said of that nasty body shot that dropped his younger sibling down and out. “My advice to him was he has to be focused regardless of who he is fighting and never take his opponent lightly.”

The 24-year-old Jhack was favored to win against two-time interim world champion Oscar Escandon, who was 4 1/2 inches shorter and was coming off a long layoff, in a scheduled 10-rounder on Dec. 21, 2019 at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.

However, Escandon shocked everyone after knocking out Jhack in the opening round with a wicked body shot.

Jhack, a former interim world champion, was so close to getting his shot at a world title. Before the fight, he was ranked No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF), No. 9 in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 10 in the World Boxing Association (WBA).

Christopher is confident that Jhack will win in a rematch with Escandon if he heeds his advice.

“A rematch will be good. But he has to keep his distance and keep on moving,” said Christopher.

Jhack has been keeping himself in shape while in the Philippines at the Big Yellow Boxing Gym, where his older brother is the head trainer.

“He’s doing fine. He’s having light training so that when he returns to the US, he’ll be ready for the hard training,” said Christopher.

Jhack said that a rematch with Escandon is being worked out by his promoter, MP Promotions, for his next fight in the US. (EKA)