By Keith Idec
Glen Tapia is eager to show what he has learned in a recently completed camp with new trainer Buddy McGirt.
He’ll get that opportunity Friday night, when the unbeaten junior middleweight prospect from Passaic, N.J., fights Marcus Thompkins (5-4-1, 2 KOs, 1 NC), of Michigan City, Ind., in a six-round bout on the Mike Lee-Jacob Stiers undercard in South Bend, Ind.
McGirt mostly has concentrated on enhancing Tapia’s jab in recent weeks, a weapon the rugged young boxer hasn’t utilized enough since he turned pro in December 2008.
“I’m improving so much with the jab and everything,” Tapia, 21, said. “That’s what I feel like I needed, that weapon, that jab.
“I haven’t had that distance with the jab and I’ve just been working on it so much. Now it comes naturally to me. I always had [a good jab]. I just never threw it that much. Putting everything else together with [the jab], I feel like I can knock everybody out.”
The only thing that disappointed Tapia (10-0, 5 KOs) about his last performance was that he didn’t stop Taronze Washington. Tapia dominated Washington (14-16, 7 KOs, 2 NC) in their six-round fight June 25 in Philadelphia, but the stubborn journeyman from Dallas never went down.
Tapia won every round of the fight, which was televised by FOX Deportes, on all three scorecards (60-54). This former Manny Pacquiao sparring partner still wants to atone Friday night for the Washington fight going the distance.
“I’m going to go for the knockout,” said Tapia, whose last three fights have gone the distance. “I try to entertain the crowd, so usually [a knockout] comes. But I’m definitely going to knock this guy out. I feel it, 100 percent, that I’m going to get a knockout.”
Thompkins, 26, has lost four straight fights, but only one by knockout.
The Tapia-Thompkins fight will be part of Top Rank’s live stream of the card Friday night, beginning at 9 p.m. EDT at toprank.tv.
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, NJ., and BoxingScene.com.