Marlon Tapales attempts to raise the level of celebration of the Filipinos during the height of the Christmas festivities when he collides with Japanese pound-for-pound star Naoya “Monster” Inoue for the undisputed world super-bantamweight title on 26 December in Tokyo.
While the Japanese promoters of Inoue have yet to release an official announcement, his American promoter, Hall of Famer Bob Arum leaked that plans are speeding up towards a 26 December date between the two-belt 122-lb holders.
Inoue owns the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization straps while Tapales has the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation jewels.
The fight is a done deal save for a few minor issues, according to Tapales’ chief representative Sean Gibbons.
Even JC Mananquil, the Filipino southpaw’s Filipino promoter, has been advised about the date Arum had mentioned.
Tapales is currently in training mode in Las Vegas and could fly back to the Philippines by late November for the most crucial stage of his training.
The plan is for Tapales to set up training camp in Baguio City before taking the flight to wintry Tokyo.
Inoue is also busy preparing for what promises to be a slambang affair.
Inoue became the WBC and WBO kingpin after knocking out Stephen Fulton of the United States last August.
Tapales, meanwhile, had snatched the WBA and IBF crowns last April with a split decision victory over Murodjon Akhmadaliev in San Antonio, Texas.
Presently, Tapales, who hails from Mindanao, is the lone Filipino world boxing champion.
Gibbons feels that Tapales, though the heavy betting underdog against the immensely-popular Inoue, has what it takes to pull off a shocker.