Sunday, May 28, 2023  |


‘Dehydrated’ Tapales loses WBO bantamweight title on scales

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

Marlon Tapales was stripped of his WBO bantamweight title after missing weight on Saturday for his first defense against Shohei Omori.

Tapales (29-2-1, 12 knockouts) weighed in at 119.75, which is 1.75 pounds over the 118-pound limit. Tapales had two hours to make weight on the second attempt, but after spending time in the sauna, he weighed in even heavier at 119.93 pounds, according to reporter Dong Secuya.

“He is severely dehydrated,” Tapales’ co-manager Ryan Salud tells RingTV.

The fight on Sunday at EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan will proceed with the title on the line only for Omori (18-1, 13 KOs), who weighed in at 117.5 pounds. Should Tapales win, the title will become vacant.

In their first meeting in December of 2015, Tapales dropped Omori 4 times in two rounds before the fight was stopped. The win earned Tapales a mandatory shot at Thai champion Pungluang Sor Singyu. Tapales got off the canvas twice to score a comeback knockout win in the eleventh round to win the title.

Making weight is often a fight in itself for the 25-year-old Tapales, of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines, as he walks around at 145 pounds and had trained for three months prior to this fight. Tapales had spent some time in Hong Kong helping Rex Tso prepare for his fight last month against Hirofumi Mukai, sparring 30 rounds with the unbeaten contender.

According to Secuya, Tapales was a no-show for a press conference scheduled just prior to the weigh-in as he remained in his room attempting to make weight.

“He is really down right now. But we are encouraging him to focus on the match,” said Salud, who is accompanied in Japan by his father and co-manager Rex “Wakee” Salud, plus former boxing champ Gerry Penalosa and Tapales’ trainers. “One thing is for sure is that he will be going up.”

There was no drama in the weigh-in for the other title fight on the card as WBA flyweight titleholder Kazuto Ioka (21-1, 13 KOs) of Osaka and Noknoi Sitthiprasert (62-4, 38 KOs) checked in at the 112-pound limit.

In England, both Filipino boxer Arthur Villanueva and South Africa’s Zolani Tete made weight for their WBO bantamweight title eliminator. Villanueva (30-1, 16 KOs) weighed in at 117.9 pounds while the former IBF junior bantamweight champion Tete (24-3, 20 KOs) weighed 117.2 pounds for their fight at Leicester Arena later today.

The winner of that fight will become the mandatory challenger for the WBO belt which is now in limbo.