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Marlon Tapales to face Hiroaki Teshigawara in IBF junior featherweight eliminator

Photo by Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Fighters Network

Marlon Tapales will make a second attempt at securing a junior featherweight title shot when he faces Hiroaki Teshigawara on November 27 in Las Vegas.

The IBF 122-pound title eliminator will take place on the undercard of the WBO/WBC junior featherweight title unification bout between Brandon Figueroa and Stephen Fulton Jr. at the Park Theater at Park MGM. The Fulton-Figueroa fight will headline a Showtime Championship Boxing tripleheader, though the Tapales-Teshigawara fight isn’t expected to be part of the broadcast.

Tapales (34-3, 17 knockouts) of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines has been in Los Angeles since July, training with his new coaches Ernel Fontanilla, a former pro from Tapales’ home region of Mindanao, and Ting Ariosa, a former trainer for the Philippine national team.

Tapales, a former WBO bantamweight titleholder, has been working out at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, alongside his compatriots Jerwin Ancajas, the IBF junior bantamweight titleholder, and Jonas Sultan.

“He is different now,” said Jim Claude Manangquil, the Sanman Promotions head who promotes Tapales alongside Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions. 

“You will see a different Marlon.”

Tapales has fought just once since his last defeat, stopping a faded Eden Sonsona in two rounds in November of 2020 in General Santos City, Philippines. Prior to that, Tapales was stopped in 11 rounds by Ryosuke Iwasa in a bout for the IBF interim 122-pound belt in December of 2019.

Teshigawara (22-2-2, 15 KOs) is riding a ten fight winning streak, which includes victories over former Tapales rival Shohei Omori, plus Filipino journeymen Jason Canoy, Glenn Suminguit and Jetro Pabustan.

Ariosa says Tapales has sparred six times so far in preparations for the bout, but will pick up the intensity of camp shortly. 

“[Teshigawara’s] footwork is good, he throws good combinations. He moves in and out from his targets,” said Ariosa.

“Marlon has the talent and the persistence. He works with the best ethics you can find in a boxer. He doesn’t just take things lightly, he asks questions and wants to understand what he’s doing. He is one of those thinking fighters.”

The winner of the elimination bout would be the likely next in line to face IBF/WBA titleholder Murodjon Akhmadaliev, who won the belts with a split decision victory over Daniel Roman in January of 2020, and defended them with a fifth round stoppage of Iwasa in April.