Unfazed Marlon Tapales prepares to take on Naoya Inoue
MANILA, Philippines–“The Monster” doesn’t scare Marlon Tapales. Not one bit.
Eight days before Tapales’ undisputed super bantamweight showdown against Naoya Inoue at Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, the Filipino two-belt champion believes there’s one big thing that separates him from the Japanese’s previous opponents.
“I have no fear,” Tapales (37-3, 19KOs) said after a media workout Monday afternoon in Paranaque.
“That’s an advantage I think because most of his opponents got intimidated easily,” he added.
Tapales, who holds the WBA (Super) and IBF titles, is a heavy underdog against the undefeated top pound-for-pound fighter today.
But that’s the least of his worries having been an underdog throughout his career.
“I don’t care about the odds,” said Tapales, the pride of Tubod, Lanao del Norte.
“I have been an underdog all my life. I have fought on my opponent’s home soil and I have handled them well.”
That’s been his mentality ever since. Tapales wasn’t expected to emerge victorious in his previous bout where he upset Uzbekistan’s Murodjon Akhmadaliev by split decision last April in San Antonio to claim the two belts.
The 31-year-old Tapales, who held camp in Las Vegas before relocating to Baguio City, leaves for Japan on Tuesday determined to make boxing history for the Philippines by becoming the country’s first undisputed champion.