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Marlon Tapales downs Thai foe, Reymart Gaballo suffers shock loss to Mexican opponent

Marlon Tapales knocked out Nattapong Jankaew in just barely over two minutes. From Tapales' Facebook page
By Dugout Philippines

MANILA--Former unified junior featherweight champion Marlon Tapales made quick work of Thai boxer Nattapong Jankaew by finishing him in just the first round of their 10-round bout for the vacant World Boxing Council Asian Continental super bantamweight title, Friday night at the Midas Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.

The former unified International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association titlist carefully landed his heavy fist on his opponent before eventually ending the bout in just two minutes and 15 seconds after a third knockdown sent Jankaew crashing to the floor and ring rope for the knockout.

Eager to compete again in a world title fight, Tapales gradually chipped away at the Thai boxer's weakness by hitting a solid right hook at the 1:01 mark of the bout while following it with different combinations until he was knocked out by left hooks at the 1:10 mark

Jankaew, who was fighting in the Philippines for the first time in his career, was still able to stand up to the referee's count but seemed unable to handle Tapales' blows as he landed consecutive left and right uppercuts en route to his 38th win with four losses and 20 wins by knockouts.

The former two-time Filipino world champion from Tubod ended Jankaew's hopes for back-to-back wins.

Tapales is now aspiring to return to the top spot under the protection of his promoters Sanman Promotions and MP Promotions.

"Sana next time na mapapalaban ulit sa championship, pero it's up to my promoter’s kung anong next in line. Kahit sino pwedeng makalaban," said Tapales after the fight.

Meanwhile, Reymart Gaballo's dream of competing in the world title fight again was probably put on hold after a shock first-round knockout loss against Mexican Kenbun Torres.

In a major upset, Torres, now 14-5 with 10 knockouts, only needed 2:32 to finish off Gaballo following three knockdowns that led to a technical knockout that silenced the spectators and supporters of Gaballo.

Gaballo was in line to fight the newly-crowned World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Yoshiki Takei of Japan.

Gaballo, who dropped to 27-2, struggled to recover from a left hook to the jaw for the first knockdown, followed by a left uppercut for the second knockdown, followed by a series of body shots to end the eight-round tune with another left uppercut.

Before the night, Gaballo was the number one ranked contender for the WBO's 118-pound belt, but following the shock loss, he might drop down the world ranking significantly.

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