Jhack Tepora spearheads PH fighters in Pacquiao-Broner undercard
LAS VEGAS—Jhack Tepora, a former national team member, will lead three other Filipino boxers fighting in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Adrien Broner world championship bout on Saturday at MGM Grand.
He will clash with fellow undefeated Hugo Ruiz of Mexico for the WBA interim featherweight crown.
And with a string of six knockout victories, the Cebuano fighter is the brightest from among the Filipino up-and-comers.
But there’s one problem. Just 24 hours before weigh-in, the 25-year-old Tepora is still six pounds heavier than the 126 lbs limit.
“I can do it, my body is already used to it,” Tepora said in Filipino during a separate presser for the undercard fighters Thursday here at the media center of MGM Grand.
Tepora, thrilled to be fighting in the United States for the first time, has been there before. He was seven pounds over the limit when he knocked out Edivaldo Ortega of Mexico last July in Kuala Lumpur.
“I will just have to sweat it out and drink just water,” added Tepora, who donned the national colors in invitationals held in Pakistan and Hong Kong.
“I will not let sir Manny down,” he said in Filipino. “I owe him a lot for giving me the break to fight in Malaysia and here in the United States.”
Another Filipino who is up to a big challenge is lightweight Rey Perez, who hails from Santa Rosa, Laguna. He has the unenviable task of fighting George Kambosos, the big-punching Australian who is Pacquiao’ s regular sparring partner.
Also making their big break here are Jayar Inson of Davao City, who will take on Jonathan Steele of Dallas, Texas, in a welterweight eight-rounder; and provicemate Genisis Labranza, who will lock horns with Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago in a flyweight encounter.
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