WBO World Bantamweight Champion Marlon Tapales (29-2, 12 KOs) will be making his first title defense against a familiar foe this April.
The 24-year-old “Maranding Nightmare” is set to face Shohei Omori (18-1, 13 KOs) on Monday, April 24, at the EDION Arena in Osaka, Japan.
Tapales’ manager, Rex “Wakee” Salud confirmed the news to Tiebreaker Times through phone call.
“Osaka na yung laban, it’s on!,” he said.
This will be the second time that the two boxers will face each other, having first squared off during 2015 in Omori’s hometown in Kyoto. Tapales won the fight by second round TKO to earn a shot at then-champion Pungluang Sor Singyu.
The stakes are higher this time around, as the number six-ranked Omori has progressed since his loss to Tapales.
He has stopped his last three opponents, including Filipino Rocky Fuentes in Kyoto.
Asked about his first title defense being staged outside the country, Tapales orginally wanted it be held in the country but it’s not for him to decide on it.
Nonetheless, he will do his best to keep the title.
“Gusto ko sana sa dito sa atin gawin pero sina sir Wakee na ang bahala dun,” he said.
“Akin lang, gagawin ko ang aking best para madepensahan itong belt.”