Former two-weight world champion Marlon Tapales (37-4, 19 KOs) will appear for the first time since December 26 in Tokyo, Japan, following his 10th-round defeat against Naoya Inoue

The Filipino earned the opportunity to challenge for undisputed super-bantamweight glory with an impressive and career-best win last April against Murodjon Akhmadaliev to claim the WBA and IBF world titles, respectively. 

Tapales defied expectations against Inoue, proving he wouldn’t just roll over for the four-weight world champion and landing multiple heavy shots on the Japanese phenom. Ultimately, an attack from Inoue while Tapales was pinned against ropes dropped Tapales to the canvas and he failed to beat the referee’s count. 

Post-fight, Tapales told the press he needed time to reflect on his future. 

May 10 will mark the return of the former unified champion, who will appear at Midas Hotel and Casino in Manila, Philippines. Sanman Boxing, in association with MP Promotions, Knucklehead Boxing, and Viva Promotions, will promote the event.

Tapales will face Thai fighter Nattapong Jankaew (12-3, 8 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight contest with a WBC regional title to be awarded to the winner.

Jankaew has lost three of his previous five fights, but last appeared on March 30 in his native Thailand, halting debutant Woraphon Saecha in 14 seconds in Bangkok. 

“I learned a lot from my last fight. I will work hard to become a world champion again,” said Tapales in a media statement following the confirmation of his return next month in the Filipino capital. 

Reymart Gaballo (27-1, 22 KOs) features in the co-main event on the same card and will face Mexican Kenbun Torres (13-5, 9 KOs). Gaballo is currently the WBC’s No. 1 rated bantamweight within the sanctioning body’s ratings. Gaballio expects to be mandated to face the winner of the anticipated title clash between Jason Moloney (27-2, 19 KOs) and Yoshiki Takei (8-0, 8 KOs) next month in Tokyo, Japan.