Marlon Tapales will head to the mountains of Benguet for high-altitude training in preparation for his world super-bantamweight unification showdown with Naoya Inoue on 26 December in Japan.
Currently in Las Vegas, Tapales, the reigning World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation titleholder is expected to arrive in Manila early next month.
JC Mananquil, whose SanMan Promotions represents the slick southpaw, has been busy attending to the training requirements of his fighter in Baguio City.
Being eyed to house Tapales and his training team is the training facility that once hosted eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao more than a dozen years ago.
Expected to join Tapales is Ernel Fontanilla, who called the shots in the corner when the boxer dethroned Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev in their action-packed encounter last April in San Antonio, Texas.
The undefeated Inoue is widely regarded as one of the best boxers in the world pound for pound.
He had become the owner of the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization straps last July after crushing Stephen Fulton of the United States in Tokyo.
The clear heavy favorite, Inoue is being groomed to add a few more world title belts as he has set his sights on winning the featherweight and super-featherweight crowns.
Still, Tapales and his team feel that despite Inoue’s vaunted punching power and excellent timing, the Japanese is not invincible.
“Fight to win,” Tapales declared from his Vegas training camp that also houses several Filipino punchers under contract with MP Promotions, the outfit being ran by the ever-influential Sean Gibbons.