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Marlon Tapales now new 122-pound king after stunning upset vs. Murodjon Akhmadaliev

Marlon Tapales' early domination was enough to take the WBA and IBF 122-pound titles away from MJ Akhmadaliev. Matchroom Boxing
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Marlon Tapales pulled off probably one of boxing's biggest upsets so far this year after stripping the WBA and IBF 122-pound titles away from Murodjon Akhmadaliev in their showdown on Sunday (Philippine Time) at the Boeing Center in San Antonio, Texas.

In a tightly contested battle, Tapales survived Akhmadaliev's late push to join fellow Sanman Promotion-handled boxer Dave Apolinario and Melvin Jerusalem as the Philippines' current world champs.

Tapales took advantage of Akhmadaliev's slow start in the latter's comeback match after a hand injury and landed the cleaner shots in the first half of the 12-round encounter.

Akhmadaliev, known for taking over late in the bout, found his rhythm late in the match and even came close to going clutch when he staggered Tapales in Round 12 that nearly knocked the latter down.

Javier Alvarez scored the bout 118-110 for Akhmadaliev, but Sergio Caiz and Roberto Torres had it 115-113 for Tapales.

The 31-year-old Tapales is now a two-division world champ even as he moved up to 37-3 in his career while giving Akhmadaliev his first loss after beginning his professional career with 11 straight wins including eight knockouts.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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