Tapales, Tabanao ready for respective bouts in Australia
FORMER World Boxing Organization (WBO) world bantamweight champion Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales and his stablemate from Rex Wakee Salud (RWS) Gym Neil John Tabanao arrived in Victoria, Australia last Monday for their scheduled bouts on Saturday at the Bendigo Exhibition Centre.
This will be Tapales’ first time to fight after a one-year hiatus when he was stripped off of his ti- tle after tipping the scales overweight on the eve of his title defense against Japanese Shohei Omori in Japan.
Tapales (30-2-0, 13KOs) will fight veteran Indonesian Rivo Rengkung (36-24-6,14KOs) for a 10-round non-title bout while Tabanao (14-5-0, 10KOs) will face Thai Rachan Yageow (25-4-0, 20KOs).
The 25-year-old Tapales and the 23-year-old Tabanao are ac- companied by their trainer Fernando Ocon and will wrap up the remainder of their training at the VSG Gym in downtown Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
“They are 99 percent ready for the fight. They are just maintaining their weight and they are both well conditioned for this fight,” said Ocon. “We did not change our training routine. We used the same routine that we used in his previous fights but we added some new tactics and game plan considering that he will be facing a tough Indonesian opponent.”
Tapales earned his popularity in boxing after he snatched the WBO world bantamweight strap by knocking out Phuengluang Sor Singyu of Thailand in 2016. He is unbeaten since 2013 and is on a 10-fight winning streak while Tabanao is a former WBO Oriental featherweight champion.