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Sports

All or nothing

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

Theres only one Filipino reigning as world boxing champion today and hes risking everything to become the undisputed 122-pound championFive titles will be at stake when Marlon Tapales battles Naoya Inoue at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo on TuesdayTapales wears the WBA and IBF superbantamweight straps while Inoue holds the WBC and WBO belts.

Tapalesmanager JC Manangquil said the goal is to bring home five belts, including The Ring Magazine version which is for universal recognition. “I know Marlon will beat Inoue,” said Manangquil. “Marlon is very hungry.  Not only (does) Marlon have the speed and power to do itMarlons ring IQ and timing are very underratedMarlon will use those in the fight.”

With Dave Apolinario relinquishing his IBO flyweight crown to go for the WBA title next year, Tapales is the sole Filipino survivor in the global landscapeIf he beats Inoue, Tapales will make history as no Filipino has ever gained recognition as an undisputed championNot even Manny Pacquiao was able to do it although hes the only fighter ever to win world titles in eight weight divisionsPacquiao fought Agapito Sanchez with the IBF and WBO superbantamweight titles on the line in 2001The fight ended in a technical drawIn 2004, he took on Juan Manuel Marquez with the WBA, IBF and The Ring featherweight belts at stake but the scrap wound up a split drawIn 2008, Pacquiao beat Marquez for the WBC and The Ring superfeatherweight belts and a year later, knocked out Ricky Hatton for the IBO and The Ring superlightweight titlesIn 2015, Pacquiao lost to Floyd Mayweather with the WBO, WBA, WBC and The Ring welterweight championships on the lineOnly the IBF title was not at stake in the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout.

If Tapales bows to Inoue, the Philippines will end the year without a world championSo his gamble is all or nothingMP Promotions head Sean Gibbons is now in Tokyo with the Tapales entourage and said this will be the Filipinos Marco Antonio Barrera moment, referring to Pacquiaos demolition of the Mexican legend to shock the world in 2003.

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