By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
On the next day of his arrival in Japan, WBA, IBF 122-pound titleholder Marlon Tapales (37-3, 19 KOs) also showed a public workout before Japanese press people at Ohashi Gym in Yokohama, Japan. Southpaw counterpuncher Tapales demonstrated just light training, but displayed speed and sharpness in a short workout.
Sean Gibbons, of MP Promotions, said, “Marlon is 200 percent confident to win.” The southpaw Filipino champ responded to his words, saying, “I’m 2,000 percent to win over Inoue. I’m more experienced and more motivated to win.” Gibbons said, “Fulton looked a little intimidated against Inoue, but Marlon has been to Japan several times (as a sparring partner for Kazuto Ioka or Shinsuke Yamanaka). He will never be intimidated against Monster Inoue as Fulton.”
Naoya’s promoter Hideyuki Ohashi predicted that it would be a do-or-die fight for both of them. Gibbons also said, “Should Marlon be victorious, we may come back here to give an opportunity for Inoue to win back the belts.”