By CARLO ANOLIN
Filipino boxer Marlon Tapales is set to face Japanese opponent Hiroaki Teshigawara in a 122 lb (super bantamweight/junior featherweight) world title eliminator next Saturday at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The winner will be named as the mandatory challenger against unified IBF and super WBA champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.
Akhmadaliev, undefeated in 10 matches with seven knockouts, will stake his IBF belt in the future title match.
Tapales, for his part, last saw action in November last year with a technical knockout win against compatriot Eden Sonsona at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City to improve at 34-3 record on top of 17 KOs.
Prior to that, the Lanao del Norte native boxer saw his 12-match win streak snap after suffering a TKO loss against another Japanese in Ryosuke Iwasa in December 2019.
Tapales will join fellow Filipinos Nonito Donaire and Reymart Gaballo in the card. Donaire will put his WBC bantamweight title against Gaballo in the main event.
Meanwhile, Teshigawara, who has an impressive 22-2 record with 15 KOs, hopes to roll on to his 11th straight win against Tapales.
This also marks the Japanese boxer’s debut fight on US soil with his recent win coming against compatriot Shingo Kawamura in October last year.