Tepora aims for world acclaim like Pacquiao
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – While attention is centered on Manny Pacquiao, another Filipino boxer is dreaming of attaining even a fraction of what the eight-division world champion has achieved.
Silently working out in the corner of the improvised gym, with only his brother/trainer attending to him, huffing and puffing as he tries to shed off excess weight is prime prospect Jhack Tepora.
The unbeaten Tepora, 21-0 with 16 knockouts, will tangle with Mexican Edivaldo Ortega, 26-1-1 with 12 KOs, for the World Boxing Association featherweight title in the chief support of the Pacquiao-Matthysse duel for the WBA welterweight crown on Sunday, July 15.
The 25-year-old Jhack, who started boxing when he was seven under the tutelage of older brother Jellypel “Jing-Jing,” was still seven pounds over the 126-pound limit Wednesday afternoon, but said he’s used to such situation.
Tepora gained international acclaim when he knocked out local idol Lusanda Komanisi in the second round in East London, South Africa, last September 22 for the World Boxing Organization inter-continental featherweight title.
It was the fifth stoppage victory for Tepora, National Open amateur titlist in 2010 and two-time member of the national team sent to Hong Kong and Pakistan.
Typical of the hardship cases of Filipino boxers, the Cebu-born Tepora collected trash for sale when he was a child and found boxing as a way out.
Little did he know that he would reach this far after six years as a pro.
According to Jellypel, they’ve thoroughly studied tapes of Ortega’s fights and believe that the Mexican can be knocked out also.
“Sa tingin namin kaya, “said Jellypel. “Sa five to seven rounds may mangyayari.”
(We think it's doable. Something will happen in five to seven rounds.)
Jellypel explained that Ortega doesn’t run and if he does that against Jhack, who he described as a scientific boxer with power, will be courting disaster.
For his part, Jhack refused to pick a round, but said the fight is certain not to go the full route as both of them have power.
“Depende lang kung saan makakita ng opening,“ said Jhack.
(It depends where we find an opening.)
Either the Mexican or him will go down. – Rappler.com