by Ryan Songalia, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK — It was not the New York debut that Marlon Tapales would have wanted.
The Filipino fighter from Lanao del Norte was knocked out in round 11 by Ryosuke Iwasa in a fight contested for the IBF interim junior featherweight title at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
It was a straight left hand that scored the knockdown, which convinced the referee to stop the fight. Before that, in round 2, a headbutt caused swelling on Tapales’ cheek and made him dizzy for much of the night.
The loss derails Tapales’ world title hopes, at least for now. The winner would be next in line to fight the unified champion at 122 pounds, daniel roman.
Tapales is promoted by Manny Pacquiao and had previously held the WBO Bantamweight world title before losing it because he missed weight. He had won 12 straight before the loss on Saturday night.
Iwasa, who had also been a world champion before, says he felt the big power punches from Tapales before he scored the knockout.
“He has big power in his punches, but I had the courage to overcome that and get the win.”
Manager Rex “Wakee” Salud said he will allow Tapales to rest and recover before deciding on what to do next.
“I did not expect this to happen, but you know in boxing, anything can happen — I think he has to rest about 4 months and then we talk on what he wants to decide.”
Tapales will remain in New York for about a week to see the sights, and has plans to attend the Terence Crawford fight next week at madison square garden, before returning home.
Filipino fans in Brooklyn did get to see one Filipino fighter emerge victorious. Louisa Hawton is from Perth, Australia, but her mother is from Digos, Davao del Norte. Hawton climbed off the canvas in round seven.
To outpoint Lorraine Villalobos in an all-action bout. With the win, Hawton retained the WBC interim atom weight title, keeping her in line for a shot at the world champion from the Czech republic.