By Joe Koizumi
WBA, IBF 122-pound champion Marlon Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) arrived in Japan today (Tuesday) to participate in an ultimate unification bout with WBC, WBO counterpart “Monster” Naoya Inoue (25-0, 22 KOs) at Ariake Arena, Tokyo next Tuesday.
Having dethroned Murodjon Akhmadaliev to wrest the WBA and IBF belts this April, Tapales will welcome a big payday and an opportunity to acquire all the four belts with his high motivation. Marlon reportedly trained two months in Las Vegas and then moved to his native Philippines to work a month more there, having engaged in more than one hundred sparring sessions in total.
Tapales said, “I’m in very good shape, and wish to win over Inoue clearly. I know Inoue is an excellent boxer with high IQ, but I’ll do everything possible to be victorious.” Time will tell.