By Joe Koizumi
Overweight ex-WBO bantam champ Marlon Tapales (30-2, 13 KOs), 120, crashed the dream and ambition of Shohei Omori (18-2, 13 KOs), 117.5, to win the WBO belt when he finally caught up with the taller Japanese southpaw, dropped him in the closing second of the tenth and halted him at 0:16 of the eleventh round on Sunday in Osaka, Japan. Until before the tenth Omori was leading on points—all 86-85, but all the tallies after Tapales badly decking Omori in the tenth were identically 95-94 for Tapales.
The Filipino lefty forfeited his belt since he failed to make the 118-pound class limit, and his victory left the WBO belt vacant. It was a gory competitive affair with Tapales bleeding from a cut over the right eyebrow in the fourth and Omori from a gash over the left eyelid in the seventh on.
The referee was Celestino Ruiz (US), and the judges were Levis Martinez, John Madfis (both US), and David Singh (Panama). The WBO supervisor was Rolando Marcos Hermoso (Panama).