Tapales to fight Mexican Estrella in non-title bout in California
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Former World Boxing Organization (WBO) world bantamweight champion Marlon “Nightmare” Tapales faces Mexican Jose Estrella at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on May 14, 2022.
Tapales, who is waiting for his mandatory world title bout against IBF and WBA unified junior featherweight titleholder Murodjon Akhmadaliev, will need to face Estrella for a tune-up bout.
Their non-title showdown is part of the undercard of the Brian Castano versus Jermell Charlo rematch.
Earlier this year, the IBF ordered Akhmadaliev to defend his IBF world title against Tapales, his mandatory challenger. However, it was eventually shelved. Instead, Akhmadaliev will fight Ronny Rios on June 11 to push through with their postponed world title showdown which was supposedly to happen last year.
Rios pulled out from his bout against Akhmadaliev in November 2021 after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.
In the meantime, Tapales needs to focus on preparing for Estrella.
The 30-year-old pride of Tubod, Lanao del Norte has a record of 35 wins, 18 knockouts, and 3 defeats. His most recent bout, a world title eliminator finished off impressively after he knocked out Japanese Hiroaki Teshigawara in the second round at the same venue in Dignity Health Sports Park.
Meanwhile, the 32-year-old Estrella of Tijuana, Mexico is eyeing a redemption after losing his most previous bout against Saul Sanchez via a third round knockout last December 2021.
Before losing to Sanchez, Estrella was on a three-fight winning streak from 2020 to 2021.
Estrella has a record of 23-18 (win-loss) with 16 knockouts and 1 draw.
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