Marlon Tapales, tasked to pull off what has been called Mission: Impossible, is back in Manila, his bags already packed for the Tuesday flight to Tokyo where he will face Naoya Inouye for the undisputed super-bantamweight championship on 26 December.
After spending close to six weeks in Baguio City, Tapales will host an open training session at 1 p.m. today at the Elorde Plus in BF Homes.
“I feel great,” Tapales said as his team was approaching the outskirts of Metro Manila early Sunday afternoon, everyone in high spirits as D-Day gets nearer and nearer.
The weight limit is 122 lbs and Tapales, who holds the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation straps, swears his weight-reduction is right on track.
When they land in Tokyo, the entire team will be driven to the Yokohama Bay Sheraton Hotel and Towers where the press conference and official weighin are set to take place on the 24th and 25th, respectively.
Beefing up Tapales’ team are lead trainer Ernel Fontanilla, fitness coach Quincy Hatcher, promoter JC Mananquil and his aide-de-camp Ramon Falgui.
But on the 19th , the day after Tapales arrives in Japan, he will be doing a media workout at the Ohashi Boxing Gym also in Yokohama at 1 p.m.
Inoue, nicknamed “Monster,” did his media workout a few days ago as he attempts to annex Tapales’ WBA and IBF belts to his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization titles.
If victorious, Tapales becomes the first Filipino boxer to become an undisputed titlist, an accolade that escaped even the highly-accomplished Manny Pacquiao.
If Inoue emerges triumphant, he will become an undisputed titleholder for the second straight time after becoming one at bantamweight last year.