Tapales remains a top 5 world title contender 

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | January 11,2024 - 04:03 PM

Marlon Tapales

Marlon Tapales holding the IBF and WBA super bantamweight world titles on his shoulders. | Photo from JC Manangquil

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Marlon Tapales remains one of the top contenders in the 122-pound division despite losing to Japanese star Naoya “Monster” Inoue in their unification bout in Japan last December. 

Nicknamed “The Nightmare”, Tapales is ranked No. 5 in both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF). 

Tapales (37W-4L, 19KOs) is the erstwhile holder of both the WBA and IBF world super bantamweight straps.  

He lost both world titles when he valiantly fought and lost to Inoue (26W-0L, 23KOs) in their much-anticipated world title unification showdown last December 26, 2023, in Tokyo, Japan.

READ: Inoue knocks out Tapales, becomes undisputed champion anew

The win installed Inoue as the undisputed super bantamweight king after unifying the WBA, IBF, WBC, and WBO world titles after beating Tapales via a 10th-round knockout. 

Despite this setback, Tapales still has a huge chance to reassert himself as a world champion being ranked No. 5 by both the WBA and IBF. The WBA released its latest rankings on January 1, 2024, while the IBF released its latest ranking last December 31, 2023. 

Ranked higher than Tapales at No. 4 in the IBF is fellow Filipino and unbeaten prospect Carl Jammes “Wonder Boy” Martin (23W-0L, 18KOs).

Meanwhile, former world champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan is at the No. 3 spot of the IBF’s top five super bantamweight contenders, while Sam Goodman of Australis is the No. 1 ranked contender. 

READ: Tapales to fight Inoue in world title unification bout in Japan on Dec. 26

In the WBA, Israel Picazo, Shabaz Masoud, and Oleh Dovhun are the No. 4 and No. 2 contenders, while Akhmadaliev is the top contender. 

With the huge possibility of Inoue moving up to the featherweight division, the super bantamweight division will be a free for all.

With that scenario, both Tapales, and Martin have a chance at a world title shot.

READ: Tapales feels he has chance to give Inoue really bad dreams

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TAGS: boxing, IBF, Marlon Tapales, WBA

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