MARLON Tapales quietly left for the province of Om Noi, Thailand last week, but hopes to make a lot of noise before Wednesday is over.
The Filipino vies for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title against reigning champion Pungluang Sor Singyu in his first ever crack at a world title.
Both fighters tipped the scales at 117.8 lbs. during the official weigh-in Tuesday at the Vichaivej International Hospital.
The 24-year-old Tapales earned a mandatory shot at Sor Singyu’s belt after scoring a second round technical knockout of Shohei Omori of Japan last December, improving his record to 28-2 overall, including 11 by KOs.
If successful, he’ll become the fourth Filipino to hold a world title after Nonito Donaire Jr., Johnriel Casimero, and Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes.
It won’t be easy though.
Aside from the expected partisan crowd cheering for the champion, Tapales will be up against a fighter two years older than him who carries an impressive record of 52-3, with 35 KOs.
The Thai is making the second defense of the crown he won via stoppage of Ryo Akaho August of 2015. He successfully retained it February of this year after a technical decision over Filipino Jetro Pabustan.
Still, the camp of Tapales led by manager Wakee Salud and co-trainers Brix Flores and Fernando Ocon, believes the Filipinos has a very good shot at dethroning the champion.
Third man in the ring is Ramon Pena of Puerto Rico, while the three judges scoring the 12-round bout are Lisa Giampa, Gerardo Martinez, and Chris Tellez.