Former world champion Marlon Tapales is packed and ready to go back to the United States to expedite his shot at the title.
After spending a couple of months in the country, Tapales has been given the green light to begin the next phase — the most crucial stage — of his buildup for a long-awaited crack at unified super-bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan.
Sporting a 36-3 record with 19 knockouts, Tapales has been doing pre-conditioning training at JC Mananquil’s sweat shop in General Santos City in preparation for the US training camp that will be supervised by the fast-rising tandem of Fontanilla and Ting Ariosa.
Tapales is the mandatory challenger to Akhmadaliev and the Filipino puncher swears he can score a big win over the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medalist and 2016 World Championships silver medalist.
Akhmadaliev actually holds two 122-lb straps, the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation, and has an 11-0 record with eight knockouts.
“I want him this year. He is a great world champion and is very skilled and crafty. But I am confident my style is a great match to his and I have the arsenal to beat him,” Tapales said in assessing his chances against the fellow lefty Akhmadaliev.
“I leave the job of making the fight happen to my management and promotion team. I am always grateful to Sanman, Knucklehead Boxing, Viva and Shapiro sports for taking care of my career. I have been grinding hard in the gym and can’t wait for this fight to happen,” Tapales added.
“He is training hard everyday waiting for his opportunity. Tapales is a true warrior and he can beat Akhmadaliev,” Manangquil, also Tapales’s chief handler, said.