MARLON Tapales crowned himself world champion on Wednesday, scoring an 11th round stoppage of Pungluang Sor Singyu to wrest the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title in Ayyuthaya, Thailand.
The 24-year-old Filipino southpaw fought gallantly infront of a hostile crowd and rose from two knockdowns in the fifth round to pull off the stunning upset.
Tapales pressed the tiring Sor Singyu in the decisive round by connecting on a three-punch combination, capped by a left uppercut and a left straight that took the lights out of the dethroned champion.
Tapales became the fourth Filipino world champion today after Nonito Donaire Jr (WBO super-bantamweight), Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes (WBO light-flyweight), and Johnriel Casimero (International Boxing Federation flyweight).
The native of Tubod, Lanao del Norte raised his record to 29-2, with 12 KOs.
Handled by veteran boxing manager Wakee Salud, Tapales thought the fight would be over when he went down twice in the fifth, courtesy of two punishing body punches by the Thai.
“I really thought the referee (Raul Pena) was going to stop the fight when I got knocked down twice,” admitted the newly-crowned champion.
But after surviving the onslaught, the Filipino returned the favor in the sixth round, sending Sor Singyu down to the canvas with a right hook.
Obviously, that turned the tide in favor of Tapales, who didn’t let-up until totally sending Sor Singyu to dreamland.
The Thai, now 52-4, with 35 KOs, was later brought to the hospital and treated for a broken jaw.
Tapales, Salud along with co-trainers Brix Flores and Fernando Ocon, and the other members of the entourage, will arrive in the country on Thursday afternoon.