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article imageMarlon Tapales aims to duplicate KO win against Shohei Omori

By Leo Reyes     Apr 20, 2017 in Sports
WBO Bantamweight Champion Marlon Tapales of the Philippines aims to duplicate his last knockout win against previously unbeaten Japanese boxer Shohei Omori when he defends his title for the first time on Sunday at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Omori (18-1-0, 13 KOs) suffered his first career loss against Tapales (31-2-0, 13 KOs) last Dec. 16, 2015 at the Shimazu Arena in Ktoto, Japan by way of a second round knockout.
Tapales' win in the eliminator bout against Omori earned him a title bout against long-reigning Thai world champion Pungluang Sor Singyu which he won impressively via 11th round stoppage.
Tapales is confident he will prevail over Omori as he targets another KO win. Omori is a very dangerous opponent because he is a known knockout artist with 68 per cent KO rate.
Omori, who is coming off a three-fight straight win since his loss to Tapales, enjoys four inches height advantage. Both fighters are southpaws. Tapales, who hails from Tubod, Lanao del Norte is 25 years old while Omor of Kyoto is 24.
While Tapales is slightly favored to win, he is reportedly struggling with his weight two days before the fight. He weighed 128 pounds upon arrival at the Kanzai Airport. The bout will be fought at the bantamweight limit of 118 pounds. His handlers are confident he will hit 121 this Friday leading up to the weigh in later.
Former world titlist Gerry Peñalosa, who is joining Tapales' manager Rex “Wakee” Salud and trainers Fernando Ocon and Brix Flores, said Tapales should go for a KO win in the early rounds to prevent the challenger from dictating the tempo of the bout.
“Go after Omori as soon as the opening bell sounds,” said Peñalosa, was a former two-division world champion.
Penalosa may have recalled that Tapales shocked Omori in the opening round during their first encounter and he wants Tapales to do the same this Sunday.
After scoring a series of knockdowns in the first round, Tapales caught Omori with a power right hook, sending the unbeaten Japanese to the canvas with the referee stopping the fight at 1:35 of the second round. Read more:
Tapales is one of the three current Philippine world boxing champions, the other being Manny Pacquiao and Jerwin Ancajas as Nonito Donaire lost his title to Jessie Magdaleno last November and Johnriel Casimero relinquished his IBF title to move up to higher weight limit.
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