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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Gibbons cited for efforts

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
03 Jul 2019




There’s a feature in the London magazine “Boxing Monthly” on international matchmaker and MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons written by Michael Marley in his column “View From New York” in the publication’s June 2019 issue.

The recognition of Gibbons’ efforts in making things happen for fighters all over the world is long overdue. “Gibbons graduated from being a glorified gofer (‘go for coffee, go for doughnuts’) years ago and is now a genuine power broker in the sport/business whose tentacles extend from his home base in Las Vegas to General Santos City (where he sits at the right hand of superstar Manny Pacquiao) to Tijuana (he’s long been a connected colleague of Zanfer promotional head Fernando Beltran) and to the offices of the WBC (Mexico), IBF (New Jersey), WBA (Panama) and WBO (Puerto Rico),” wrote Marley.

“Not only does Gibbons know even the most convoluted and arcane governing body rules and regulations, he also knows all of the moving parts. His ‘overnight’ success story spans 20-plus years. Gibbons learned under the watchful eye of Top Rank’s storied matchmaker Bruce Trampler or, as Gibbons and other acolytes reverentially refer to him, ‘Mister Bruce.’ I might mention here that Gibbons refuses to do business with no one. For example, Pacman now flies the Al Haymon flag with Gibbons as Manny’s rep. And rising star (IBF superflyweight champion) Jerwin Ancajas is a Pacman protégé tied to Bob Arum.”

Gibbons has a reputation in the boxing industry as a doer, someone who knows the business inside and out with a keen attention to detail. He doesn’t mind rolling up his sleeves and breaking a sweat. He’s courteous, accessible, humble, passionate and hard-working. He calls everyone he deals with “Sir” or “Mister.” He has friends in every corner of the globe. What makes him stand out in the sleazy world of boxing is his integrity. He’s transparent and honest. His love for the sport is legendary and his knowledge of boxing history is encyclopaedic. He’ll stand up for what is right. And he won’t mind taking a hit for a friend.

In 2012, Gibbons was in the ring when Argentinian fans from a trucking labor union went crazy after hometown hero Luis Lazarte was stopped by Filipino Johnriel Casimero in Buenos Aires. Gibbons was assaulted as he tried to shield Casimero from the mob. Today, Gibbons remains loyal to Casimero who’s now the WBO interim bantamweight champion. Gibbons took Casimero on the flight with Pacquiao to Los Angeles two weeks ago so he could experience training with the ring icon at the Wild Card Gym.

Casimero, who’s being lined up to challenge WBO titlist Zolani Tete before the year ends, isn’t the only Filipino fighter whom Gibbons is helping out. Ancajas is a prime example of a fighter whom Gibbons brought to the top. Samuel Salva will get a chance to win the IBF minimumweight crown in August through Gibbons’ efforts. It was also Gibbons who opened the eyes of boxing authorities to rate Marlon Tapales as the WBO No. 1 superbantamweight, Michael Dasmarinas as the IBF No. 1 bantamweight, Edward Heno as the WBO No. 1 lightflyweight and Salva as the IBF No. 1 minimumweight. Gibbons has also arranged for three Filipinos to see action in the undercard of the mainer featuring Pacquiao against Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on July 20.

A fighter whose career was resurrected by Gibbons is featherweight Jhack Tepora. He was booked to receive a cool $100,000 for staking his interim WBA featherweight crown against Mexico’s Hugo Ruiz in the Pacquiao-Adrien Broner fight in Las Vegas last January but weighed 5 1/2 pounds over the limit and was scratched from the bill. Gibbons saved the slot by tapping a replacement Alberto Guevara to face Ruiz instead. That kind of remedial action is why promoters like working with Gibbons. Tepora is now in the US, working hard like Casimero and recently outpointed Mexico’s Jose Luis Gallegos. Gibbons has confined Tepora to quarters in L. A. and brought in his wife to make sure he doesn’t stray. Tepora is rated No. 4 by the IBF in the featherweight division with a 23-0 record, including 17 KOs.

For Gibbons, it doesn’t matter with whom a fighter is connected. If he’s a fighter worth his salt, Gibbons will give him a chance. An example is Heno whose manager Marty Elorde went up to Gibbons and asked for assistance. Another example is Casimero who’s tied up with several managers. Gibbons, however, won’t hesitate to give unscrupulous agents a piece of his mind. Once, he berated a lawyer during a GAB hearing for taking advantage of Ancajas.

I’ll never forget Gibbons for looking out for me in a wild mob scene after Pacquiao’s win over Broner. As the fans swooped down on Pacquiao, Gibbons held me by the arm to stop me from getting trampled while we inched our way to the lockerroom. “I got you, Dean,” he yelled out as I lost my footing in the bedlam. Gibbons held me up and I never fell.

There was another incident where Gibbons showed his heart for a poor Filipino fighter. I found out the 30 percent tax the Filipino was supposed to pay from his purse for a fight in Los Angeles was shouldered by Gibbons so the boxer could take home the gross instead of the net. Gibbons never made it known to media. That’s just the way he is. “I’ve been blessed to help my Filipino brothers,” said Gibbons, a former lightheavyweight boxer whose father was a US Navy commodore. “And it’s all been made possible with the Senator’s support.”

Photo: Sean Gibbons (L) with Jerwin Ancajas (C) and Manny Pacquiao (R).


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