LUISITO ESPINOSA AND HERMIE RIVERA
By Hermie Rivera
13 Sep 2015
The Court of Appeals has awarded Luisito Espinosa monetary damages arising from a title match with the Argentine Carlos Rios.
No fresh developments has happened since the court's decision. Espinosa remains unpaid.
While waiting for new moves by those involved in the mess, allow me to reminisce if you will as to how it was then handling the career of the ex-world (bantam-feather) champ as seen by an 'Ol pal--- reporter Ronnie Nathanielsz.
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"There are many things you can say about broadcaster Hermie Rivera.
He appears on occasions to strut around, not walk.
He is the Filipino version of the “Louisville Lip” Muhammad Ali.
He is a great raconteur whose story-telling become more interesting and witty with a few San Miguel beers down the hatch.
He loves people, is at his best in a crowd and carries a
There are times when Hermie, despite his denials could even be
pugnacious. But that’s when he knows someone is trying to do him in or treats him like a jerk.
In short, Rivera is a helluva guy, give or take a few human frailties just like the rest of us.
But we know him best for two virtues which stand way above
all else---loyalty and honesty.
We have been through some rough times, along with the likes of Milt Alingod, his quiet partner, and Manny Mortero, in the remarkable triumvirate that plucked an unknown Luisito Espinosa from obscurity and nursed him with concern, affection and good sense through eight, long and unforgiving years of sacrifice to the pinnacle of success as champion of the entire world in the bantamweight division of the World Boxing Association.
But in a real sense, the labor of love has been lost in a scenario of deceit and maneuvering by men of questionable motives, if not of character and modern-day exploiters who were determined to bleed the former champion for all his worth without having contributed a drop of sweat in the fashioning of his career.
Rivera's presidential broadcast ID.
When Malacanang household help Dio Espinosa begged Rivera to look at a gangling 16-year-old Luisito at a time when Hermie walked the corridors of power, he took the boy under his wing because of the persistence of the father and Hermie’s own savvy which told him, Espinosa had the makings of a world champion.
When IBF president Bobby Lee saw Espinosa spar with then- world junior-flyweight champion Dodie Boy Penalosa at the Elorde Sports Complex many years ago, he predicted Espinosa, properly handled, would be a champion in six months.
But Hermie was after the boy’s welfare. Not his money. He worked him up the contenders charts, quietly,carefully and deliberately.
Luisito became more than a son to Hermie. He cared for him like no other. And watched him like a doting father would.
Espinosa himself was enamored with his manager and reciprocated the affection, with his discipline and dedication which ultimately enabled him to win the WBA 118-pound crown via a sensational victory over Thailand’s fearsome Kaokor Galaxy.
The partnership prospered and the ties became even stronger. But there were forces lurking in the wings. as what happens in the murky world of prizefighting.
Even when Espinosa failed to get his full purse in some promotion(s) that lost money, he stuck to Hermie.
In the early years while Hermie spent for Espinosa he didn’t take his share of the purse.. He looked at it as an investment in a young man who had grown in stature in the ring and in the affection he had for him.
Marriage, the result of a whirlwind courtship, soon beganto tear at the fabric of the Rivera-Espinosa relationship with new-found admirers eager to grab not just the spotlight but Espinosa’s money earned through years of toil and sweat, and also of his potential earnings.
Hermie Rivera is a comparatively poor man because even though he was close to President Marcos to whom he remains to this day fiercely loyal.
He did his job because he was a believer and an admirer of the late strongman."
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Top photo: Luisito Espinosa poses with Manny Pacquiao.
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