The Philippines has its fourth world boxing champion today as Marlon ‘The Nightmare’ Tapales defeated Thai champion Pungluang Sor Singyu by way of eleventh round knockout in a WBO bantamweight title fight in Ayutthaya, Thailand. The match was an action-packed battle from the opening bell and the first round saw both fighters land their share of clean blows, but it was the Thai champion, Sor Singyu, who appeared to connect with the cleaner punches.
The second round saw Tapales begin to throw three and four punch combinations, but his southpaw stance left him open to Sor Singyu’s straight right hand and the Thai landed it cleanly throughout the round. When the bell rang to end the round, the champion taunted his opponent, raising his hands and smiling.
Despite Sor Singyu’s antics, the third round clearly belonged to Tapales. He landed sharp blows to the head and body but the champion kept marching forward and getting home numerous power punches to Tapales’ body, including some that were below the belt. In the fourth the champion came on strong, countering Tapales’ offence well, landing his straight right repeatedly, smiling with every clean blow landed. Tapales looked like he was beginning to feel the effects of the champion’s pressure.
The match appeared all but over in the fifth when Sor Singyu dropped Tapales twice with devastating body blows which landed on the challenger’s belt line. The Filipino showed his resolve when he held on to make the bell but the fight had well and truly swung the champions way. But like a pendulum, the sixth round saw the momentum swing back the other way, the equilibrium of the fight changing dramatically when Tapales, who looked done just minutes before, came out and laid some hurt of his own on the Thai, dropping him with a fierce right hook and following up with some solid combinations.
Showing the kind of courage one would expected of a champion, Sor Singyu held on and then proceeded to trade blows with his challenger throughout much of the seventh. He blasted away at the body of Tapales and it still looked to be either man’s fight as the round ended.
The bout had been fought at a rapid pace through the first seven rounds so it was only natural that the pace slowed as both men tried to regroup after such ferocity. The eighth and ninth rounds could have gone either man’s way, Tapales landing some ‘Pacquiao-like’ lead right hooks, whilst Sor Singyu focussed his attack on the body of the Filipino.
But round ten saw Tapales begin his march to victory in earnest. He attacked with renewed vigour, landing clean combinations that troubled the champion, who looked to be tiring badly. The end came swiftly for Sor Singyu in the eleventh round when Tapales landed a right hook to the head, two left uppercuts to the body, and the final telling blow, a straight left which dropped the champion for the full count. It was later learned that Sor Singyu suffered a broken jaw in the bout and he was subsequently hospitalised.
To the victor go the spoils and Tapales stands to gain a career-best payday after winning his first world title, the WBO bantamweight crown. His record improves to 29-2, 12 KO’s, whilst Pungluang Sor Singyu’s record drops to 52-4, 35 KO’s. — Daniel Attias