Tapales stops Omori in 11th
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - April 24, 2017 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  After losing his world title on the scales the other day, Marlon Tapales did the next best thing inside the ring: knock his Japanese opponent out.

Tapales summoned all his strength or whatever is left in him yesterday as he forced Shohei Omori into submission in the 11th round at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan.

Tapales, with a big cut at the corner of his right eye, floored Omori in the 10th round, and jumped on the Japanese at the start of the 11th, forcing the referee to halt the fight.

With the victory, Tapales salvaged some measure of pride.

It was a pity that Tapales, who trained hard for three months for the fight, failed to make weight last Saturday and was stripped of his WBO bantamweight title.

The WBO 118-pound title is now vacant, and it’s unlikely that Tapales, who hails from Lanao del Norte, will try to gain it back.

Moving up to the super-bantamweight division will be the wise move for the dethroned champion.

Tapales was 1.75 pounds over the bantamweight limit. Drained and starved, he went on to fight and delivered the same result against Omori, whom the Filipino also knocked out inside two rounds in 2015.

The fight in Osaka was supposed to be Tapales’ first defense of the title he won against Thailand’s Panya Uthok last July.

In the early going, Tapales looked like he was running out of gas after days of depriving himself as he tried to make weight.

But he fought on and turned the tide to his favor. In the end, it was Omori who couldn’t hold his ground.      


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