Tapales gets big boost

Manny Pacquiao gives Marlon Tapales premium pointers as the Filipino fighter revs up for his crack at two world titles next month in San Antonio, Texas. | Photograph by Nick Giongco for the Daily Tribune

It was mid-afternoon of Friday in Las Vegas when Filipino fighter Marlon Tapales received a video message from a VIP.

Tapales is in the final four weeks of training for a bold bid to win two world boxing titles on 8 April in San Antonio, Texas.

The Filipino southpaw immediately picked up his phone to see the notification that was relayed to him by a scribe who was in the middle of an animated conversation with the personage.

“Marlon Tapales, here’s my advice to you. You should not only remain focused but you should also carefully study your opponent,” said the celebrity said in the short video message.

Tapales faces Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan, holder of the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight titles at the Boeing Center at Tech Port.

Akhmadaliev is the betting favorite but Tapales insists those are just numbers and he is determined to prove his detractors wrong come fight night.

“You can do it,” the famous fellow said.

That made Tapales’ day as it’s not every day that someone gets pointers from such a popular figure.

The chap who gave Tapales words of encouragement was no other than Manny Pacquiao.

“Thanks so much, sir,” Tapales told the Pacquiao visitor via a text message.

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