Against the 'Monster,' Tapales aims for boxing history

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 19 2023 12:06 PM

Marlon Tapales fights Ryosuke Iwasa for the vacant interim IB junior featherweight title on December 7, 2019. Leo Wilson, Premier Boxing Champions/File.
Marlon Tapales fights Ryosuke Iwasa for the vacant interim IB junior featherweight title on December 7, 2019. Leo Wilson, Premier Boxing Champions/File.

Boxing champion Marlon Tapales will not only be gunning for a title win against Japanese superstar "Monster" Naoya Inoue this Dec. 26 in Tokyo, Japan.

Atty. Ed Tolentino, a long-time boxing analyst, said "The Nightmare" is also aiming for boxing history.

"History beckons for Marlon Tapales," he said in a recent interview with ABS-CBN News.

"If he somehow beats Naoya Inoue, he will be the first Filipino boxer to be undisputed champion in the four-belt era of boxing. Ibig kong sabihin, WBC, WBO, IBF and WBA, all four titles, he will be the first Filipino boxer if he pulls it off."

Tapales currently holds the WBA-IBF bantamweight titles while Inoue owns the WBC and the WBO crowns.

Tapales became champion when he pulled off a 12-round, split decision victory over erstwhile unbeaten WBA/IBF titlist Murodjon "MJ" Akhmadaliev last April 8.

But Tolentino said Inoue will be the toughest in his career.

"Naoya Inoue right now is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters and he is on a roll," said the analyst.

Inoue walked through WBC/WBO titlist Stephen Fulton, handing the latter a one-sided, eighth-round knockout to become a four-division champ last July. This set the stage for the battle between Tapales and Inoue.

"Overwhelming favorite dito si Inoue. I believe Marlon Tapales will come in the best shape of his career, talagang the best. But will that be enough to hurdle the Monster?" said Tolentino.