On paper, the Marlon Tapales boxing record is impressive but a closer look at his former opponents paints a different picture. He is set to face Naoya Inoue in his first attempt to become the undisputed champion at Super Bantamweight this week and he has never met a fighter of this caliber before.
Who is Marlon Tapales?
Marlon Tapales Bio and Early Career
Marlon Tapales has one of the most impressive boxing records among the active fighters as he has been a professional since 2008. At the same time, he is only 31 years old and has many years ahead of him. But how did he get this far?
The sad truth of the boxing world is that, aside from the heavyweights and a few certain big names in other classes, even the champions of the lower weight classes often go under the radar. Information about their early years is simply not available or extremely limited.
Such is the case with Marlon Tapales, with the earliest information about his career being about his professional debut. After all, he was unlikely to have had a lengthy amateur career since he was only 16 at the time of his pro debut.
The Tubod native (Philippines) certainly wasted no time and scored 8 wins in 9 months after his debut. His first loss was for the flyweight title of the Philippines Boxing Federation. Over the next 3 years, he won another 13 consecutive fights to reach his first serious opponent – David Sanchez, for the WBC Interim Silver Super Flyweight title. Defeat number two.
Marlon Tapales Boxing Record
From the time of his second defeat onward, Tapales reached new heights in his career and fought all around the world. In 2013, he won the WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight title but his biggest until recently was the WBO Bantamweight title, which he won in 2016 against Pungluang SWor Singyu.
Funnily enough, he did not make a single defense as he was stripped of the belt as soon as his next match. He won over Shohei Omori but missed weight.
Three years later, he had a chance to win the IBF Interim Super-Bantamweight title but lost to Ryosuke Iwasa, suffering his third and final professional defeat.
Fifteen years after the start of his career, Marlon Tapales has a boxing record of 37-3. You can hardly call him a weak boxer but we have to note that the list of his former opponents is far from impressive. He is also not the strongest puncher and has only 19 KO wins in 37 wins.
Whenever he fought world-class opponents, he had serious problems and unsurprisingly – lost. But he is a technical fighter and will certainly test the strength of even the best in the business.
Tapales vs Akhmadaliev
This was the bout that ultimately led to Tapales getting a shot for the unification against Naoya Inoue this week. And it was a wildly controversial match. Murodjon Akhmadaliev held the IBF and WBA (Super) Super-Bantamweight titles between 2020 and 2023 and many believe that he actually won the match against Tapales.
The split decision was controversial as one of the judges scored the match 118-110 in favor of the Uzbek.
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Inoue vs Tapales
Naoya Inoue is an absolute monster. Unsurprisingly, this is his professional alias too. Unbeaten in his career that includes 25 wins with 22 knockouts, he is on the way to becoming the second male boxer to become the undisputed champion in two different weight classes after Terence Crawford.
Marlon Tapales has never faced such a boxer and he is rightfully the underdog ahead of this bout. Yes, we shouldn't underestimate him but Inoue surpasses him in every aspect of boxing. Marlon's best chance is to look for the knockout in the early rounds as his chances will diminish if the match drags beyond the 6th round.