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‘NO FEAR’ — Tapales swears ‘Monster’ doesn’t scare him

Marlon Tapales insists that Japanese pound-for-pound star Naoya Inoue doesn’t give him the creeps. | PHOTOGRAPH by Nick Giongco for the Daily Tribune

There’s one thing Marlon Tapales swears he won’t be bringing to the ring when he faces Naoya “Monster” Inoue next week in Tokyo.

“I have no fear,” Tapales said after hosting a media workout Monday afternoon in Parañaque.

On the eve of his departure, Tapales insists he is coming to win his undisputed world
super-bantamweight showdown with the Japanese star many regard as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Inoue will dangle his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization straps on 26 December at the Ariake Arena.

Tapales will bring his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts in a bold bid to become the Philippines’ first undisputed champion.

Unlike the vast majority of Inoue’s victims, Tapales is not intimidated by Inoue’s fearsome reputation.

“That’s an advantage, I think, because most of his opponents got intimidated easily,” Tapales said, stressing that the tremendous odds stacked against him doesn’t even bother him.

“I don’t care about the odds,” he said.

For the most part of his last few fights, Tapales had entered the ring the huge underdog and this fast-approaching Inoue match is no different.

“I have been an underdog all my life. I have fought on my opponent’s home soil and I have handled them well.”

Of course, the Inoue encounter is on another level.

Tapales readily agrees that he had to push himself to the limit, knowing he has to come up with an extra-ordinary performance to get the job done.

“I had to log more sparring rounds because I will be going up against Naoya Inoue,” said Tapales, who spent more than 50 percent of training camp in Las Vegas before relocating to Baguio City.

Tapales parades a 37-3 record with 19 knockouts, numbers that pale in comparison with that of Inoue.

But Sean Gibbons, the American dealmaker who facilitated the megabuck matchup, believes “styles make fights” and the Filipino southpaw’s solid stance and tactical brilliance have what it takes to mess up Inoue’s grand plans of moving up in weight and win a couple more world titles.

“He’s going to be the Monster slayer, the Monster killer… at the end of the day, it’s going to be a Monster win (by Tapales),” Gibbons said.

The fight is going to be shown on TV5’s Cignal ONE Sports channel and it will be Tapales’ time to shine like no other.


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