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Tapales guns for WBO title

Marlon Tapales, a protégé of Cebu kingmaker Wakee Salud, shoots for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title on hostile ground on June 17.

Thailand’s defending champion Pungluang Sor Singyu will be Tapales’ rival in the scheduled 12-rounder that will mark Sor Singyu’s second defense of the WBO 118-lb crown in a city that will be determined soon.

Salud, who steered brothers Dodie Boy and Gerry Peñalosa and Malcolm Tunacao to world titles, said Sor Singyu’s promotional team is finalizing the city that will host the match.

“Sor Singyu’s handlers are wary of traveling outside of Thailand to defend the title,” said Salud, who has tapped former fighter Fernando Ocon to help Tapales get ready.

Tapales (28-2 with 12 KOs) faces a tough customer in Sor Singyu (52-3 with 35 KOs), who is best remembered for his resounding victory over one-time prospect AJ Banal a few years ago at the Mall of Asia Arena.

But the 24-year-old Tapales is riding on the crest of a sensational win: a second-round knockout of Japanese prospect Shohei Omori last February in Kyoto.