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Honor defended

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‘I’d rather die than lose face’.

OSAKA, Japan – Handing the world title on a silver platter was the farthest in Marlon Tapales’ mind when he faced long-armed Japanese bomber Shohei Omori at the Edion Arena.

After the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown for failing to make the bantamweight limit of 118 lbs, Tapales told himself that Omori has to do it “over my dead body.”

“I’d rather die than lose face,” Tapales told a pair of Manila-based scribes at the APA Hotel lobby in Shinsaibashi after his stirring eleventh-round TKO win Sunday night.

Tapales admitted that he felt hurt in the fifth round when Omori caught him with heavy punches to the head and body.

“But I just tried my best to endure the pain because a lot of people were cheering for me and they came all the way from the Philippines,” said Tapales, referring to a group of highly-supportive fans who provided the only rambling that appealed to his senses.

Even with the win, Tapales will return home to Cebu without the WBO crown.

Omori would have been declared champion had he won but Tapales, who had stopped him in 2015, had other things in mind.

Wakee Salud, the bubbly manager of the Lanao del Norte puncher, said he will support Tapales’ plans of moving up in weight.

“If he thinks he has to move up, who am I to disagree?”

Tapales swears that he felt like dying as he attempted to meet the weight.

“It was really tough,” said Tapales, stressing that he felt like passing out as he was unable to eat anything solid for days before the weighin.

“Time to move up to 122 lbs,” he said.

  • philspratly

    kung walang laban, 145 lbs ang timbang niya . Baka naman mahirapan pa din isya sa 122 ls. sa palagay ko, kaya niyang mag 126 lbs as featherweight. Sa pacman ng hirap siya sa 112 lbs, dumetso siya sa 118 imbis na mag 115.