Marlon Tapales rooting for Naoya Inoue so they can mix it up | Inquirer Sports
Of monsters and nightmares:

Marlon Tapales rooting for Naoya Inoue so they can mix it up

By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 05:58 PM April 19, 2023

Marlon Tapales (center) with MP promotions president Sean Gibbons (left) and Sanman promotions chief JC Manangquil. –FRANCIS OCHOA

Marlon Tapales (center) with MP promotions president Sean Gibbons (left) and Sanman promotions chief JC Manangquil. –FRANCIS OCHOA

MANILA, Philippines–Even monsters can have nightmares.

Or at least, Marlon Tapales can create one for Japanese star Naoya “The Monster” Inoue.

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“Don’t sleep, man,” Tapales, nicknamed “The Nightmare,” told reporters when asked for his message to Inoue on Wednesday, during a simple luncheon to celebrate his return to the country after stunning Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the WBA and IBF super bantamweight crowns over a week ago.

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“I know he’s ‘The Monster,’ but he’ll have a nightmare,” Tapales added.

Tapales (37-3, 19KOs) is looking to book a fight with Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) after the Japanese star’s highly anticipated debut in the super bantamweight ranks against unbeaten Stephen Fulton (21-0, eight KOs) in July.

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That fight was supposed to take place in May, but the 29-year-old Inoue begged off after injuring himself during training.

Tapales said he will be cheering for Inoue in his fight against the 28-year-old Fulton, which will be held in Japan.

“I hope you will win this match so we will meet [in the ring] … The Monster and the Nightmare. {Then we will know] who is the better boxer or fighter,” Tapales said.

“I’m ready, I’m waiting, I’m here. Good luck,” he said.

Boxer Naoya Inoue poses for photographs during a press conference in Yokohama on January 13, 2023.

Boxer Naoya Inoue poses for photographs during a press conference in Yokohama on January 13, 2023. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)

“We’ll be watching the fight, we’ll be right there,” said Sanman Promotions chief JC Manangquil, who handles Tapales. “If he (Inoue) wins, we’ll chase him [for a fight with Tapales].”

Tapales scored a split decision over Akhmadaliev in San Antonio, Texas, masterfully using his right jabs to set up uppercuts that rocked the champion and irreversibly altered the course of the fight.

“I took control starting with that second round,” Tapales said.

“After that second round, when the uppercut landed, Akhmadaliev wasn’t as busy anymore as he normally is during fights,” Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, said.

Two judges scored it 115-113 for Tapales while a third judge had it at 118-110 for Akhmadaliev.

“A lot of people underestimated [Tapales] and they {Akhmadaliev camp] paid dearly for it,” Gibbons added.

Marlon “The Nightmare” Tapales, newly minted WBA (Super) and IBF super bantamweight champion, has a message for Naoya “The Monster” Inoue. | via Francis T.J. Ochoa/Inquirer Sports

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The 31-year-old fighter nodded his head in agreement.

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“I was the underdog, but I like it that way,” he added.

Tapales is scheduled to make a courtesy call to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in Malacanang on Thursday before flying home to Cebu to reunite with his family, whom he hasn’t seen in nearly 10 months.

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TAGS: MARLON Tapales, Naoya Inoue

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