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Gunning for glory

Former world champion Marlon Tapales and rising star Jade Bornea would be the first two Filipino fighters gunning for world titles in the first quarter of 2023, a year MP Promotions predicts will bring back lost ring glory.

Tapales’s shot is actually fast taking shape as Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev has packed his bags and already en route to the United States to begin training camp.

JC Mananquil, who manages Tapales, told Daily Tribune that if Akhmadaliev refuss to defend his International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight crown, “he will be stripped.”

In fact, the IBF has ordered both sides to begin negotiations for a showdown and if all else fails, the boxing body will hold a purse bid on 29 December.

MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons revealed yesterday that the working date for the Akhmadaliev-Tapales clash is 11 March.

Also in the running is unbeaten super-flyweight Jade Bornea, who, like Tapales is also handled by Mananquil.

Bornea is the mandatory challenger to Argentine Fernando Martinez, who defeated Jerwin Ancajas in a rematch last October.

The two parties have to put a deal in place by 20 December and failure to do so will result in the holding of a purse bid.

“A minimum of three world titles is coming our way this year,” exclaimed Gibbons from General Santos City where he sets up his temporary office while waiting for the grand celebration of Manny Pacquiao’s 44th birthday on Saturday.

Tapales sports a 36-3 record with 19 knockouts while Akhmadaliev, a Rio Olympics bronze medalist, world championships silver medalist and Asian championships bronze and silver medalist in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

MP Promotions, owned by the eight-division champion, also represents a bevy of other topnotch talents including ex-world champions Mark Magsayo, Rene Cuarto and Ancajas.

Also carrying the MP Promotions flag are Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial, Vincent Astrolabio and Carl Jammes Martin, who is gearing up for his much-awaited US debut in the coming year.

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