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Team Tapales gives thumbs up to Baguio camp

BAGUIO CITY – The camp of International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Association super bantamweight Marlon Tapales has no regrets picking Baguio City for the final phase of the Filipino’s training for his mammoth showdown with pound-for-pound star Naoya Inoue.

“The City of Pines” is a prime location for training among world-class Filipino boxers mainly due to its high altitude, which can reduce oxygen levels, therefore improving a fighter’s endurance and stamina.

Even the great Manny Pacquiao had set up some of his Philippine training camps here before.

Count Team Tapales, particularly strength and conditioning Quincy Hatcher, as among those satisfied with the training site.

“Altitude here is definitely a game changer. When I first came here, I personally started running with him (Tapales), and you can definitely feel the lungs leaving your body,” Hatcher, who has spent four weeks here so far to work on Tapales with the rest of his team, told scribes Monday at the Shape-Up Gym after an afternoon training session. 

“But with this guy, it doesn't really affect him that much anymore. Once I came here, the first week up until now, you can definitely see how he has progressed in his conditioning. We run up the mountain about once a week and he's sprinting up the hill — three miles — like it's nothing. He can go around three or four times if he needed to,” added Hatcher.

Tapales echoed his coach’s sentiments: “Yung training camp namin dito actually sobrang ganda. Alam naman natin na high altitude ito so sobra talagang nakakapagod.”

The Filipino southpaw opened his training camp for Inoue in Las Vegas before heading to Baguio, from which he will taper off preparation on December 17 and travel to Manila. On December 19, he and his team — led by Sanman Boxing boss JC Mananquil — will fly to Japan for Tapales’ date with destiny against Inoue on December 26.

Weeks before Tapales tries to unify his twin titles with Inoue’s World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization straps, Hatcher has his fighter right where he wants him to be conditioning-wise.

“So far so good. We're looking like right on pace. Not too far ahead of schedule — we don't want to peak too early