Former world champ Tapales makes triumphant ring return with early KO win
Former world champion Marlon Tapales waited for more than a year before making his return to the ring.
His comeback fight, however, didn’t last long.
Tapales needed only one round and one punch to knock out his Tanzanian foe Goodluck Mrema on Sunday in front of his hometown crowd at SM North Edsa SkyDome in Quezon City.
“It feels so good to be back in the ring,” Tapales said in Filipino. “I also prepared really well for this fight.”
Tapales (31-2, 14 KOs) decked Mrema (22-4, 12 KOs) after the Tanzanian walked into a crushing right hook in the temple.
“I knew that’s going to come. I watched his videos and I set that punch up,” he recalled of the KO.
The 26-year-old Tapales fought as a featherweight for the first time after failing to make weight in his last fight in April of last year against Shohei Omori of Japan in Osaka.
Tapales stopped Omori in the 11th round but he was stripped of his WBO bantamweight belt for being overweight.
Tapales feels he’s regained his top form by moving up in weight.
“I feel very strong and confident,” he said.