Tuesday, March 28, 2023  |



After Magdaleno withdraws, Juarez could face Tapales for interim title

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

Cesar Juarez may not have to wait on the sidelines for WBO junior featherweight titleholder Jessie Magdaleno following the cancellation of their title fight.

Juarez could end up facing former WBO bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales in an interim title fight after Magdaleno withdrew from their November 11 fight date at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California citing a wrist injury. The injury was sustained during a sparring session, Magdaleno’s manager Frank Espinoza told RingTV.com, and no timetable had been given for his return to training.

“That is a possibility if we decide to,” said Juarez’s matchmaker Sean Gibbons. “If not we will fight a non-title 10-rounder and wait on Jessie.

“We will make a decision this week on that or not.”

The son of Tapales’ manager Rex “Wakee” Salud, Ryan Salud, told RingTV.com that “they are still under negotiations for an interim bout.” Salud would prefer to push the fight back to give Tapales more time to prepare, Ryan Salud confirmed.

The ESPN-televised card will still proceed with Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 knockouts) facing Enrico Koelling (23-1, 6 KOs) for the vacant IBF light heavyweight title and Jose Carlos Ramirez (20-0, 15 KOs) facing Mike Reed (23-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round junior welterweight fight, Top Rank confirmed via Twitter on Sunday.

Juarez (20-5, 15 KOs), of Mexico City, Mexico is the No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger for Magdaleno. Tapales (30-2, 13 KOs), of Lanao del Norte, Philippines, is the No. 2 contender. The 25-year-old Tapales moved into the junior featherweight division after losing his 118-pound title on the scales prior to his fight with Shohei Omori in Japan this past April, when he weighed in two pounds over the limit.

Tapales stopped Omori in 11 rounds, and Zolani Tete, who became the interim titleholder the day before, was immediately elevated to full championship status.

Salud had spoken about his interest in making Tapales-Juarez last year, telling RingTV.com “that’s a very good fight. We will move to [a] catchweight.”

A request for comment from WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel was not immediately returned.


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