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Marlon Tapales wants to make history as the first Filipino undisputed world champion

December 3 ------ Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales has finished the third week of training camp in Baguio City. The high altitude that Baguio offers, he saif, gives him that extra push as he prepares for the fight of his life against the undefeated Naoya “The Monster” Inoue in Japan this coming December 26, 2023. “I think for me it’s really important because I need to throw a lot of punches, it’s helpful for me because it’s hard here to do it like because it’s really tiring but when I’m used to it I can do whatever I need to do."

Tapales holds the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight belts while Naoya Inoue has the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) belts. In Philippine boxing, no one has ever become the undisputed world champion, meaning holding all 4 lineal belts at the same time. “I want to go down as the first undisputed Filipino world champion,” said the 31 year old boxer.

He has trained in the United States for his past fights but for the biggest fight in his career, he opted to stay home because of the close similarity of the time zone between the Philippines and Japan, adding that training camp has been going well thus far. “The camp is going good I feel good and comfortable because we’re here in the Philippines and at the same time Japan time and Philippine time is almost the same,” he said.

The cold climate in Baguio was another factor as he’ll be arriving in Japan next month during the winter season. The unified champion doesn’t care about the naysayers and doubters as he is an underdog coming to the fight, “Of course yeah they are doubting me I can't win against this fighter but I don’t know what the people think but maybe their mind, they’re doubting but for me I know myself and I know what I’ll bring in Japan from my training, I know I’m confident. I know what’s in my mind,” The Lanao del Norte native added.

Tapales is ready to go the full 12 rounds when needed but said, “If I have a chance to knock him out of course I’m gonna knock him out.” Having won 3 of his last 4 fights via knockout, he knows that he has the power to beat Inoue. “I can punch, one punch because I got power and I can win also even if the fight will go thru the 12 rounds.”

The lone current Filipino world champion doesn’t fear Inoue. "When you enter the ring and you have a fear so then the opponent will punch you so it will hurt very hurt because your fear for the punch that hindi pa nag land takot ka na. Nakikita mo na sa mata, sa mukha sa reaction. Makikita mo na. I’m just a human same as this guy (Inoue) but I know how to control that fear the thing is I know myself that I have a good training camp so why should I fear, I fear nothing right now. I have a good training camp I have big confidence on myself that I can do it.”

Asked for a fight prediction, Tapales confidently said, “My fight prediction for this upcoming fight is for me I want to beat Naoya Inoue in 12 rounds because of course I want to enjoy and feel the punch that they say the Monster is very strong I want to feel it I want to enjoy.”

The two world champions will face each other at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.



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