Still overweight, ‘vegetarian’ Tapales goes full crash-diet mode
OSAKA—Marlon Tapales has turned vegetarian since arriving here Monday. With his weight still far from ideal, Tapales is now on a crash diet, avoiding rice and bread in the hopes of making the weight for his defense of the WBO bantamweight crown against Japanese Shohei Omori on Sunday.
Tapales has also stepped up training, spending 15 minutes skipping rope and working the stationary bike inside a makeshift sauna installed at Green Chuta Gym, where he did light training Thursday afternoon.
Weighing 124 pounds when he woke up Thursday, Tapales, who no longer takes breakfast and is taking only a reducing pill and boiled vegetables for lunch and dinner, jogged for 30 minutes before taking a nap.
Still on an empty stomach, he proceeded to the gym with trainers Fernando Ocon and Brix Flores, manager Rex “Wakee” Salud and former two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa.
According to Salud, Tapales hit 128 lb upon landing at Kansai Airport, necessitating the drastic cut in his food intake.
Though starving, Tapales remained in high spirits as he went through the one-hour training where he did shadow boxing, skipped rope, worked a mitts session, and pounded the heavy bag.
Tapales also spent time in a sauna until his perspiration dripped like a leaking faucet.
Ocon said he was aiming for Tapales to make 121 lb early Friday, before going through the physical examination in the afternoon.
Whether he’ll have dinner will depend on how heavy he would register at the scales in the evening as the official weigh-in is set at 1 p.m. (noon in Manila).
Tapales got valuable advice from Peñalosa as he was shadow-boxing in the ring.
“Go after Omori as soon as the opening bell sounds,” said Peñalosa, hailed by celebrated trainer Freddie Roach as “the most technical Filipino fighter.”
Omori still has a phobia of Tapales owing to the second round stoppage dealt him by the pride of Lanao del Norte when they first clashed in Kyoto in 2015.
Peñalosa said Omori’s confidence would grow once he started landing his jabs, so Tapales must pounce on him early.
Peñalosa even showed Tapales some moves and offered some tips on how to deal with Omori.
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