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Tapales’ Japanese foe suffers injury

Takuma Inoue, the kamikaze Japanese fighter tabbed to battle defending champion Marlon Tapales for the Word Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown on Dec. 30 in Tokyo, has suffered an injury during training.

Joe Koizumi, the all-around Japanese boxing man, reported yesterday that the unbeaten Inoue (8-0 with two KOs), sustained a fracture just two days after attending a press conference formally announcing his shot at Tapales’ WBO 118-lb title.

The development sent Ohashi Promotions to rite the WBO about finding a replacement for the seventh-rated Inoue to salvage the show that has been penciled to happen at the Ariake Coliseum.

Tapales (29-2 with 12 KOs) is making the first defense of the crown he won via an electrifying 11th-round stoppage of Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand in Ayuttaya last July.

The Tapales-Inoue showdown will serve as the main supporting bout to the headlining WBO super-fly clash between champion Naoya Inoue against Kosei Tanaka.

Tapales is neck-deep in training for the fight as he has been banging bodies with a bevy of sparmates the past four weeks at manager Wakee Salud’s gym in Cebu City.

“This coming week, mag-ten rounds na ako sparring,” said Tapales.