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By Manny Piñol

Sat, 18 Sep 2010

"The road to peridition is paved with good intentions."

The disappointing loss of Filipino Edrin Dapudong, a boy whose career I have nurtured for over 12 years, was a result of a good intention that did not bear the right results.

And I take all the blame. Nobody else. Not Edrin, not Noli and not Justin Fortune, the conditioning coach.

After we all retreated to our dugout after the embarassing loss to Wilbert Uicab in Cancun, Mexico last night, we immediately backtracked and looked back to where we might have gone wrong.

The fighter who lost to Uicab was not the Edrin Dapudong that I knew. He was not the same Dapudong who scored a sensational first round knockout over former world No. 1 flyweight Jesus Jimenez last June.

He was slow and lumbering and was even beaten to the jab by the much shorter Uicab.

By the end of the third round, Dapudong was already gasping for breath something which I, Noli and our elder brother Pat could not believe because we knew how long and hard Edrin prepared for this fight.

"Hindi ko halos matapon ang mga suntok ko," Edrin complained after the fight.

In the end, we pointed at a tragic mistake that was a result of a decision I made: to allow a totally new physical conditioning program to be introduced to Edrin with barely two weeks to go before the very important fight. He made two hard sparring sessions at Maywood Gym with a week to go before the fight and he underwent physical regimens which were new to his body.

The intention was noble. It was my belief that the conditioning program would further improve Edrin's stamina and strength. The result proved that it was wrong. We should have waited to a longer period to implement the program to get his body to adapt to it.

And it was my decision and my mistake.

For this I apologize to the Filipino boxing fans who expected so much from Edrin.

I know I will be expecting a lot of criticisms for this decision that I made and I am ready to take the full blame. Not Noli, not Justin and espcially not Edrin.

But while I am prepared to receive brickbats and criticisms, I take exception to insinutations that I brought Dapudong to Mexico to make money out of him. God knows how much I sacrificed to bring these boys to where they are now.

I also take exception to a suggestion that I was involved in the promotion of the fight between Luisito Espinosa and Carlos Rios where Espinosa's purse was not given to him until now which I believe is intented to picture me as a scoundreal involved in denying boxers what is due them. That fight was staged in SOUTH COTABATO not North Cotabato where I was Governor for nine years. Also, at the time I was just a mayor of my hometown in M'lang and I did not become Governor until 1998.

The fight between Espinosa and Rios was held in Marbel, South Cotabato on Dec. 6, 1997. I became Governor of NORTH COTABATO on June 30, 1998. It was a different Governor (Gov. Hilario de Pedro) of a different province who was involved. NOT ME!

I would to assure boxing fans, however, that this is not the end of the road of Edrin. We will bring him back down to the junior flyweight division, his natural weight category and learn from this mistake.

And while there may be some truth to the saying: "The Road to Perdition is paved with good intentions," there is also a great degree of truth to the belief that people with good intentions in the end would succeed.

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