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List of Articles by Manny Piñol


 

FOR MURAD, THE DREAM LIVES ON

By Manny Piñol
PhilBoxing.com
18 Aug 2005

American boxing promoter Murad Muhammad, whose stormy promotional relationship with Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao ended in an out of court settlement two months ago, is still determined to pursue his dream of helping Filipino boxers make it big in the US boxing scene.

"I want to put an end to the Mexican monopoly of American boxing," he once told me in a telephone conversation.

He started it, of course, with his successful promotional venture involving Pacquiao. Whether you like the guy or not, you will have to agree that without Murad Muhammad investing on Pacquiao, Filipino boxers would not have been noticed in the US.

Pacquiao's do-or-die attitude inside the ring captured the imagination of American boxing fans sending many US-based boxing impresarios,including shady characters, scouting for more Filipino boxing talents.

It's a pity that Murad's relationship with Pacquiao ended on a sour note.

But that has not dampened Murad's enthusiasm to pursue his goal of promoting other Filipino boxers.

In fact, a few days ago, through my intercession, he agreed to help the career of Philippine junior bantamweight champion Eric Barcelona.

Barcelona, 22, who was recently voted by the Games and Amusements Board as its Most Oustanding Boxer for the month of July following a sensational win in Japan, is being managed by my long-time friend Leonel Lazarito of Valencia, Bukidnon.

I saw Barcelona in his fight against my former boxer, Diosdado Gabi, in the April 12 promotion staged in Davao City. While Barcelona lost that fight by technical decision after Gabi suffered a cut in the 6th round, I saw a talent in him.

Following that loss, Barcelona scored two more victories bringing his fight record now to 30 wins 7 losses with 10 knockouts.

There is still a lot of refinement that needs to be done in Eric's fighting style. For one, he fights with a very wide foot stance which actually reduces his power.

With Murad's promotional participation in Barcelona's career now, the Filipino jr. bantamweight champion is expected to train further under famed US boxing coach Buddy McGirt.

It will not be long before Barcelona fights for the world championship. This early, Murad and I are already talking about a possible shot at the World Boxing Association (WBA) jr. bantamweight title now being held by Mexican Martin Castillo.

More boxers will be coming Murad's way because I believe that he holds the key to the land of milk and honey for Filipino boxers.

I am now having talks with another long-time boxing friend Wakee Salud of Cebu City on the possibility of sending jr. lightweight standout Jimrex Jaca and lightweight Dexter Delada to Murad and McGirt's camp in the US.

Both Jaca and Delada are world-beaters and the weight categories they are in assure them of greater media attention in the US.

Next year, six more young boxers now trained and managed by my brother, Noli, will also be going to Murad's camp as long as they gain enough experience in local fights. They are featherweight Glenn Gonzales, 19 (4 wins, 1 draw 2 kos); bantamweight Glenn Porras, 19 (5 wins, 1 loss, 2 kos; jr. flyweight Dennis Juntillano, 21 (5 wins, 1 loss, 2 kos) and
miniflyweights Tommy Terado, 19 (5 wins no loss 2 kos), Ervin Dapudong, 19 (5 wins no loss 2 kos) and Rex Penalosa, 20 (4 wins 1 loss 1 ko).

Murad, in spite of all the bad publicity heaped on him following the Pacquiao controvery, could still prove to be the poor Filipino boxers' hope for fame and glory.


Editor's Note: We would like to give a warm welcome to our guest columnist, long time boxing sports writer, sports advocate and analyst and current Cotabato governor, the honorable Emmanuel "Manny" Piñol.


Back to Manny Piñol's Articles Listing



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