Former WBO bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales takes on Eden Sonsona Saturday as boxing returns in the South with an explosive five-card fight presented by the Sanman Boxing Promotions at the Sanman Gym in General Santos City.
This marks the first fight for the 28-year-old Tapales in more than 10 months following a setback to Japanese Ryosuke Iwasa last Dec. 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, USA.
“I’m very excited for this event. It’s hard but we are doing our best to bring back boxing in the Philippines,” said JC Manangquil, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Sanman Boxing Promotions.
Billed as “The Restart” – in reference to the boxing event in the region after postponements of various fights because of the COVID-19 pandemic – Tapales and Sonsona clash in an eight-rounder at the super featherweight division.
In the weigh in held Friday at the Sanman gym, Tapales tipped the scale at 132 lbs., while Sonsona at 136 lbs.
Tapales, who belongs to the Sanman stable, has a ring record of 33 wins – 16 by knockouts – with three losses, while Sonsona, a cousin of former WBO super fly champion Marvin Sonsona, has a 36-11-2 slate.
The event is the second boxing competition approved by the government through the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) under the Games and Amusements Board, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Health.
Cebu staged a successful four-card last month via the Omega Boxing Promotions that was sanctioned by GAB.
Quibors Boxing Stable has already received clearance from GAB although it is awaiting confirmation from the local government unit of Bacoor, Cavite for a five-card event.
“Boxing is alive in the Philippines. From Cebu to Gen-San to Laguna (next month) there will be fights,” said GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, former governor of Palawan.
“We at GAB, we’ve extended all assistance in making sure of the safety and welfare of the boxers. We congratulate Sanman Promotions for starting it in Mindanao and we hope others will follow. This can be a framework for other boxing promotions,” he said.
Also seeing action in the five-card event are four other fighters of the Sanman boxing stable, including Aston Francis Palicte, Dave Apolinario, Michael Casama and Joey Canoy.
Palicte will take on Markrey Taday in the bantamweight category, Apolinario collides with Bonjun Loperez in the flyweight class, Michael Casama meets Vergil De Guia in the super featherweight division, and Canoy clashes against Jovab Lucas also in the flyweight ranks all in an 8-rounder fight.