No pressure, just excitement for Tepora
Two days before the biggest fight of his career, Cebuano boxing prospect Jhack “El Capitan” Tepora of the Omega Boxing Gym admitted he can’t contain his excitement to step inside the ring to fight Mexican Edivaldo Ortega for the interim World Boxing Association (WBA) world featherweight title.
Tepora and Ortega clash in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse world title showdown at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
In an interview with Cebu Daily News, the 25-year-old Cebuano World Boxing Organization (WBO) inter-continental featherweight champion, who is unbeaten in 21 fights (16 knockouts), said he feels no pressure despite fighting in a bigger stage for the first time.
“Wala man ko na pressure. Excited nuon kaayo ko. Excited mo fight,” Tepora said. (I don’t feel pressured. I’m actually very excited. Excited to fight.)
Tepora earned a shot for the interim world title against Ortega for being number two in the WBA featherweight world rankings. If he wins over Ortega, he will get a shot at WBA world featherweight king Leo Santa Cruz.
Tepora believes he can pull off the victory.
“Kaya man nako siya pildihon basta dili lang jud ko mo kumpyansa,” Tepora said. (I can beat him as long as I don’t become over confident.)
A win on Sunday will further boost Tepora’s market value in boxing and could attract more promoters for future major fight cards abroad. Tepora started to turn heads when he easily knocked out African Lusanda Komanisi last September 2017 to clinch the WBO inter-continental featherweight title at the latter’s hometown in East London, South Africa.
Despite having a 10-month layoff, Tepora continued to train until his promoters from Omega Pro Sports International accepted the huge offer to fight in the co-main event of the Pacquiao-Matthysse bout.
From then on, Tepora stepped up his training and joined Pacquiao for a month-long training in General Santos City.
Ortega is an equally dangerous foe as the 28-year-old Mexican has 26 wins (12 knockouts), one defeat and one draw. But this will be the first time Ortega will fight outside of Mexico.
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