RWS pug Tapales wins Asia-Pacific bantam crown
Marlon ‘The Nightmare’ Tapales of the RWS Gym of Cebu beat Fredirex Rodriguez of Bukidnon via unanimous decision to capture the vacant WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight title Thursday night at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
This fight was the co-main attraction in the ‘Battle of the Undefeated’ card which saw Tomoki Kameda of Japan dethrone Paulus Ambunda of Namibia by unanimous verdict for the WBO world bantamweight title.
The southpaw Tapales stunned Rodriguez in the opening round with swift combinations and continued to pummel the latter in the subsequent rounds. In the sixth, a hard left sent Rodriguez down and the bell rang as Tapales was preparing to finish him off.
In the subsequent rounds, both boxers traded furious exchanges but Tapales’ edge in experience and boxing skills iced the cake.
The 21 year-old Tapales won on all three judges’ scorecards – 117-110, 119-108 and 119-108 to improve to 23-2, with 9 KO while the 25 year-old Rodriguez dropped to 11-3-1, 8 KOs.
Rodriguez won this belt last year but had to vacate it after failing to beat the deadline to defend it.
Gerpaul Valero was another big winner when he scored a shock 10-round split decision win over former WBC world flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro.
Valero exploited his reach advantage, scoring with jabs and showing good lateral movement. Jaro’s power was evident early in the fight and he shook Valero when he connected. In the 4th, Valero showed heart and toughness, taking Jaro’s best body shots and firing back with combos of his own.
Jaro faded past the halfway mark and Valero came away with a, 96-94, 97-93 nod from the two judges while the third had it for Jaro, 96-94.
Jaro (34-13-5, 24 KOs) scored one of boxing’s biggest upsets last year when he dethroned Thai Pongsaklek Wonjongkam by 6th round TKO. But he lost the title in his first defense.
Valero (15-14-3, 10 KOs) had a miserable losing record before he was tutored by trainer Brix Flores and won the super flyweight category in GMA’s Buhay Boksingero two years ago.
Other winners were: Ardie Boyose by 2nd round TKO against Al Grumo; Jack Tepora by 1st round TKO over Randy Gomez; Neil John Tabanao who knocked out Charlie Pucdol in the first round; Jonathan Francisco by unanimous decision vs. Glen Canteveros and Joey Canoy by 4th round TKO vs. Marwin Cristota.
Andrew Palas beat Robert Awetin by split decision while in the opening bout, Joyjoy Pormentera won by unanimous decision against Rizaldo Sangong.
The card was presented by RWS Promotions International, Kameda Promotions and will be aired on GMA TV.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.