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List of Articles by Manny Piñol



By Manny Piñol
14 Jul 2011

Luisito Espinosa.

His new job now as utility worker in the Chances Casino in the Bay Area in Northern California has given former world bantamweight and featherweight champion Luisito Espinosa enough free time to go back to the boxing gym and train.

No, the training that Louie is undertaking now is not just part of an effort to keep himself trim and stay fit.

At age 44, he actually intends to make a ring comeback.

Yes, Luisito Espinosa, the former world bantamweight and featherweight champion who lost 5 of his last 8 fights, is planning to fight again.

Louie's bosom friend and compadre, Dennis Cailles, who was with the former world champion during the most trying moments of his life, said he has tried to persuade his friend from pursuing with his plan to fight again but it seems like Espinosa is determined to retrieve his dusty boxing gloves from the old shelves and wear these again.

"Several people actually approached Louie and convinced him to fight again. I do not know their motives. But Louie seems to be interested because he would like to using boxing as a way to express his protest against the injustice inflicted on him," Dennis said when I met him at the San Francisco International Airport last week of June.

The injustice that Cailles is referring to is the non-payment of Luisito's purse from a fight against Argentinian Carlos Rios when he defended his world featherweight title in Koronadal, South Cotabato 14 years ago.

Luisito, who at the time was managed by Japanese boxing man Joe Koizumi, was convinced to go up the ring and defend his title even without the mandatory deposit of the prize money before the fight with the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) because he was convinced that he would be paid after the fight from the proceeds of the television coverage.

The telecast was a flop when it was not aired on the night of the fight.

Luisito, after years of begging for the payment of about $120,000, sued promoter Rod Nazario, South Cotabato Gover'nor Hilario de Pedro III and several others before a Manila Court. The case has gathered dust and cobwebs all these years even as Luisito suffered from one misfortune after another, the worst of which was when his beautiful wife, Maricherie, left him and married another man.

The only thing that could stand in the way of Luisito's return to the ring is a license that would be issued by the California State Athletic Commission.

It could be granted, who knows. If the fact that Luisito is 44 would be used as a reason to deny him, it could always be argued that Bernard Hopkins is nearing 50 and still a world champion.

Louie's case could be different though. He is threatening to make a comeback because he wants to show his anger to the people who abandoned him and who have forsaken him.

Will his anger be enough to bring back the fire in his belly and make him at least a shadow of what Espinosa was in his prime?

Nobody knows.

"I am concerned and I am afraid," said Cailles.

Perhaps, the only other way Luisito Espinosa could be stopped is if somebody grants him the justice that he has been longing for - the dignity and respect manifested through the payment of the prize money that his rightfully his.

Dennis plans to help Luisito draft a letter to be addressed to President Noynoy Aquino to beg for justice.

Justice could be the key word that could possibly open the heart of the President of the Philippines.

Like Luisito, President Noynoy is no stranger to injustice.

Luisito lost his friends, wife and money.

President Noynoy understood injustice when he lost his father.

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