By Carlos Costa
Filipino bantamweight Marlon Tapales (20-1, 7 KOs) of Lanao del Norte, has arrived in Hermosillo, México, ahead of his scheduled 12-round battle against hard-punching Sonorense David "Tornado" Sánchez (21-2-2, 16 KOs) for the vacant WBC Silver Bantamweight title at the Sonora State Gym in Hermosillo, México.
The 20-year-old Filipino Tapales - who three years ago captured the Filipino GAB Jr. Flyweight title - has scored wins after win in his last twelve outings, including a close majority decision victory over unheralded Mexican-American Alejandro Solorio (4-6, 3 KOs) at the Mandalay Bay in Vegas in May 2011.
The Filipino's last rumble was a round 2 knockout win last October in Manila, while Sánchez comes from a round 5 victory last September in his native Sonora.
With 50-50 chances of claiming the biggest triumph in his fighting career, Tapales is accompanied in México by experienced Cebuano trainer Juanito Ablaca, who promised that his pupil has come to Mexico to earn the green-and-golden WBC "Silver" bantamweight title and bring it to the Philippines.
The WBC Bantamweight "Regular" World title belt is since November 2011 on the waist of undefeated 30-year-old southpaw Shinsuke Yamanaka (17-0-2, 12 KOs) of Tokyo, Japan.
Yamanaka is due to make the third defense of his world against veteran lefty former champ Malcolm "Eagle Eye" Tuñacao (32-2-3, 20 KOs) on April 8 in Tokyo.
The victorious in the Sánchez vs Tapales fight might be in line to face the winner of the Yamanaka-Tuñacao rumble.
CO-MAIN EVENT: SEGURA VS SALADO
The co-main event will feature the return of hard-hitting former world champion Giovani Segura (28-2-1, 24 KO's) in a 10-round non-title bout against 33-year-old fellow Mexican Omar Salado (23-5-2, 14 KO's) of Tijuana.
The bout will be Segura's return to action after a 14-month lay off after his devastating capitulation to the fists of the reigning WBO flyweight world champion Brian Viloria at the Yñares Sports Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Will the 30-year-old 2-time Jr. Flyweight world champion Giovani Segura - born in the Southwestern Mexican State of Guerrero - still have the will and the winning state of mind required to be the fearsome world champion he once was?
The interesting card this Saturday (Feb 23) in Hermosillo, Mexico is a production of Promociones Zanfer in association with Promoson for the benefit of the DIF (Desarrollo Integral de la Familia - the Mexican public institution in charge of social welfare) of Hermosillo.
Fights begin at 5:30pm
Tickets are on sale at Discos y Novedades. Also, at the box office of the Gimnasio del Estado, and online on www.superboletos.com
Ticket prices are 100, 200 and 300 Pesos ($8, $16 and $24 US Dollars)
The card will be broadcast LIVE on "La Casa del Boxeo" TV Azteca Channel 7.