By Nick Giongco
Osaka, Japan — Filipino champion Marlon Tapales got premium pointers from a once premier puncher during a light workout Thursday, just three days before the first defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title against Shohei Omori.
The valuable tips Tapales received were given courtesy of two-division world titleholder Gerry Peñalosa, who came here to provide support to the 24-year-old Filipino.
Peñalosa was not only direct-to-the-point when asked to share his knowledge.
“Let him (Omori) feel immediately that you are the world champion,” Penalosa told Tapales in the presence of lead trainer Fernando Ocon and consultant Brix Flores.
Peñalosa reminded Tapales that Omori, who Tapales had knocked out in 2015 in neighboring Kyoto, lives with the fear of getting kayoed again.
“Omori has phobia from your knockout win over him so don’t allow Omori to get over that feeling,” said Peñalosa, stressing that Tapales has to dictate the tempo and impose his will right away.
“I want to see him (Omori) walk back to his corner wobbling and disoriented,” added Peñalosa.
Tapales nodded at every word Penalosa uttered while his two cornermen listened intently as they focus on another pressing matter in the runup to Saturday’s official weighin .
Before the workout at the Green Tsuda Gym, Tapales weighed in at 124 lbs, six lb north of the 118-lb limit.
Still, Tapales looked calm and collected, bubbly at times, a behavior you don’t normally see in fighters trying to shed off extra weight.
“I’m good,” said Tapales, who even spent about 12 minutes inside a makeshift sauna riding the stationary bike and jump rope routine.