Tapales presents world titles to PBBM


UNIFIED super bantamweight world champion Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales wants former undisputed bantamweight king Naoya Inoue of Japan for his next opponent.

“I can fight toe-to-toe with Naoya Inoue even though he’s a highly-skilled fighter because we will be fighting at 122 [pounds],” said Tapales, who paid President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. a courtesy call in Malacañang on Thursday.

Tapales said he’ll be dominating Inoue at 122 pounds, catch weight for super bantamweight.

“It’s my big advantage to fight at 122 because I can endure his punches,” he said.

Tapales upset Murodjon Akhmadaliev last April 8 in San Antonio, Texas, to snatch the Uzbekistan fighter’s World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) belts.

Tapales (37-3 record with 19 knockouts) held the World Boxing Organization bantamweight belt in 2016 when he beat Panya Uthok via 11th-round technical knockout in Thailand.

WBO minimum weight champion Melvin Jerusalem, Sanman promoter JC Mananquil, managers Mike and Jerry Pelayo and international matchmaker Sean Gibbons joined Tapales in Malacañang.

Inoue and American unified super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton are fighting in July and the 31-year-old Tapales said he’s not counting out Fulton as his next assignment.

Fulton, undefeated in 21 fights, holds the WBO and World Boxing Council super bantamweight crowns. Inoue, on the other hand, has 24-0 win-loss record with 21 knockouts.

“I am not discounting Fulton, who is more of a technical fighter,” Tapales said. “He is not there to engage but I will be ready for him if ever he beats Inoue.” Josef Ramos

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