Tapales targets Uzbek’s belt in April


MARLON “THE NIGHTMARE” TAPALES hopes to become a world champion anew when he takes on Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev on April 8 in San Antonio, Texas.

International matchmaker Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotion, told BusinessMirror that the 30-year-old Tapales, a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight champion, has already been informed of his fight.

“Marlon’s condition and body looks terrific,” said Gibbons after checking on Tapales at the Top Rank gym in Las Vegas where he trains with another aspiring world champion Jade Bornea. “It’s just a matter of time before the Philippines will have another world champion.”

The country has only one world champion at the moment, Melvin Jerusalem who snatched Japanese Masataka Taniguchi’s WBO minimumweight belt via a second-round knockout last January 6 in Osaka, Japan.

Tapales (36-3 win-loss record with 19 knockouts) said he has religiously trained under coach Ting Ariosa and Ernel Fontanilla for the fight that was postponed twice last year because of issues on the purse and the Uzbek’s hand injury.

“We didn’t stop and I won’t go back to our country if I’m not a world champion yet,” said Tapales, who’s been training in the US for more than a year under the Sanman Promotions of JC Mananquil.

He will be going after unbeaten 28-year-old Akhmadaliev’s (11-0 record with eight knockouts) International Boxing Federation super bantamweight belt.

Akhmadaliev also holds the World Boxing Association title but it won’t be staked in the fight.

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