By Nick Giongco
Marlon Tapales’ first defense of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown on Dec. 30 in Tokyo was scrapped after Japanese challenger Takuma Inoue suffered an injury during training. Tapales’ chief handler Wakee Salud said there is an offer to defend against unbeaten Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Jan. 28 as well as offers to do the same thing in Ireland also on the same date and in England in February.
“A decision will have to be made within the week so Marlon can program his training,” said Salud, who was informed about the cancellation of the Tokyo fight last week.
Efforts were made to save Tapales’ defense when Ohashi Promotions tabbed Ryo Akaho as a replacement but Japanese TV didn’t approve of it, saying it was a mismatch, according to Salud.
Tapales was saddened by the news as he had been neck-deep in training the last few months.
But the fighter insists everything happens for a reason.