Friday, June 09, 2023  |


Marlon Tapales wins WBO bantamweight title

Marlon Tapales celebrates after his WBO title-winning victory in Thailand in 2016. Photo / Doug Secuya
Fighters Network

Marlon Tapales made the most of his mandatory title shot, surviving two knockdowns to knock out Pungluang Sor Singyu in the 11th round Wednesday in Ayutthaya, Thailand to win the WBO bantamweight title.

It wasn’t easy for Tapales (29-2, 12 knockouts) of Lanao del Norte, Philippines, as he was dropped twice in the fifth round on digging body shots from Sor Singyu (52-4, 35 KOs), a Thai in his second reign as a bantamweight titleholder. Tapales survived and, in the sixth round, it was Sor Singyu’s turn to touch the canvas after a right hook sent him down on all fours. Tapales, 24, maintained his pressure, landing hard right hooks to the body while Sor Singyu backed away from confrontation.

Sor Singyu appeared to be a beaten man by the end of the 10th and was easy pickings in the 11th as Tapales dropped him for a second time with a left cross to the chin, this time for the 10 count.

The win was sweet revenge for Tapales, whose team was reportedly left without transportation by the promotion while in Thailand. Sor Singyu had also earned a reputation for defeating Filipinos, against whom he compiled a 20-0 (12 KOs) record.

Tapales, who earned the shot by blowing away unbeaten Japanese boxer Shohei Omori in two rounds last year, entered the fight ranked No. 9 at 118 pounds by THE RING, a spot below the 26-year-old Sor Singyu.

With the win, Tapales raises the number of Philippine-born boxing champions to four, joining WBO junior featherweight beltholder Nonito Donaire Jr., RING junior flyweight champ Donnie Nietes and IBF flyweight titleholder Johnriel Casimero, who also won his strap at the expense of a Thai when he stopped Amnat Ruenroeng in May.

Tapales’ manager Rex “Wakee” Salud, who guided the Penalosa brothers Gerry and Dodie Boy Sr. to world titles, is no stranger to winning major belts in Thailand, having led Malcolm Tunacao to the WBC flyweight title in 2000 by avenging Manny Pacquiao’s loss to Medgoen Singsurat.

Tapales now runs his winning streak to eight while Sor Singyu sees his six-fight winning run come to an end.