Home Boxing News Underdog Marlon Tapales says he is ready, willing and able to defeat...

Underdog Marlon Tapales says he is ready, willing and able to defeat Naoya Inoue

Marlon Tapales

WBA and IBF super bantamweight champion Marlon ‘Nightmare’ Tapales 37-3 (19) might be facing the most daunting task in boxing, but he insists he is not there simply to make up the numbers.

The 31-year-old Filipino southpaw is slated to face WBC and WBO counterpart Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue 25-0 (22) in a four-belt unification bout at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan on December 26.

The winner will be crowned the Ring Magazine world champion at 122-pounds.

Japanese superstar Inoue, 30, has cut a swathe through the lighter weight classes since winning his first world title, the WBC junior flyweight title, nine years ago. World championship honours followed at super flyweight before a move to bantamweight saw him unify all four major sanctioning body world titles and become the Ring Magazine champion.

All told, Inoue is 20-0 in world title fights with 18 knockouts.

In his last fight, Tapales lifted the WBA and IBF titles from 29-year-old Uzbek southpaw Murodjon Akhmadaliev 11-1 (8) by split decision in San Antonio, Texas in April.

Tapales says he feels well prepared for anything Inoue throws at him.

“It has been a good training camp, so far so good and I have plenty of sparring partners,” Tapales said to ‘Sparring Sessions’ on GMA.

“For me, it is an honour to give my best for the fight. We are not going there to just give a good fight; we are going there to win. There are many doubters but we let them be, that is how it is.”

Tapales started off his training camp in the United States before relocating to Baguio City in the Philippines to put the final touches on his preparation.

“This is a different [environment] because we are in high altitude,” said Tapales’ coach Ernel Fontanilla. “This is going to be a good fight. Support the fight because we have been training hard to win.”

Tapales has received support from local mixed martial arts stars Eduard Folayang and Joshua Pacio and the rest of the team at Lions Nation MMA.

“Marlon has to see that he would not get to fight Inoue if he did not work hard for it. He is deserving. People have their judgments, but as a fighter, we have to believe in ourselves,” Folayang said on ‘Sparring Sessions’.

“We sacrifice so much in training because our goal is to become a world champion. The greatest story is to shock them that there is something you can do that others can’t. We are praying for you to prevail in this fight.

“You worked hard for this and you are here now. Keep it up and do not pay attention to the negativity from other people. Take it as a motivation that you can do this and prove them wrong. You have the opportunity to get this done and this is your time.”

Pacio added: “God bless to our future undisputed champion Marlon Tapales. There are doubters but you also have many supporters, kuya. Prove them wrong and go get the win.”