THE BROUHAHA OVER MEMO HEREDIA
By Manny Piñol
17 Jun 2013
Manila (mannypinol.com) - Angel "Memo" Heredia is a name that leaves a bad, to some extent bitter, taste in the mouth of many Filipino boxing fans because of one reason - his involvement in the conditioning of Juan Manuel Marquez for the Mexican's 4th fight against Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
It was in the 4th fight when Marquez, badly battered by Pacquiao and definitely losing the fight, connected with a devastating right which knocked out the revered Filipino fighter.
To so many, including myself, the new-found power Marquez was a reason to suspect that Heredia, who in the past was involved in Performance Enhancement Drugs which led to the downfall of such sports stars as Marion Jones, introduced "something" to the Mexican fighter which made him more powerful.
I voiced that suspicion myself and just like many other Filipinos who love Manny Pacquiao, I conjured an image of Memo Heredia as "evil" who may have spiked Marquez's food and drinks with PEDs which led to the loss of the Pacman.
I never thought I would even be associated with Memo Heredia, not even by long distance text messages and emails.
I never did actually. It was a communication established by Reynaldo "Jeff" de Guzman, a long time Pacquiao buddy during his Vagabond Inn days when he was trying to find the pot of boxing gold in California.
Jeff de Guzman's involvement with my boxer Edrin "The Sting" Dapudong, who last Saturday scored a sensational first round knockout over South Africa's Gideon Buthelezi to win the IBO Jr. Bantamweight title, was accidental.
You could call it a twist of fate.
It was trainer Aljoe Jaro who was supposed to work in the corner of Dapudong in South Africa as he did in November when Dapudong lost by a controversial split decision to Buthelezi, which was the reason was a rematch was ordered.
But there was a last minute change as Aljoe was asked to proceed to Dubai for the press conference of Denver Cuello's world title fight against Chinese Champion.
Faced with the problem of finding somebody who did not need a visa to go to South Africa to work in the corner, I called up Jeff de Guzman knowing that he holds a US passport.
So, Jeff and Dapudong left for Johannesburg Monday and I followed Tuesday.
Unknown to me, Jeff was communicating with Heredia, who he has befriended, seeking the latter's advises on how to handle Dapudong's nutritional requirements before and after the weigh in.
The advises worked because even Dapudong himself confirmed that he felt lighter and more agile because of the programmed food and nutritional intake.
As everybody knows by now, Edrin Dapudong knocked out Buthelezi in 2:29 (not 2:39 as earlier reported) of the first round to win the IBO title, the first world boxing title for my province, North Cotabato, and for the Braveheart Boxing Club which I and my brothers own and manage.
Ronnie Nathanielsz' report on Heredia's involvement in the Dapudong preparation immediately raised a lot of eyebrows with some of the detractors even accusing the North Cotabato boxing champion now of using "PEDs" in his fight against Buthelezi.
I am appalled at this reckless and sweeping accusations being aired now and I feel I should share with the public the "secret" nutritional formula which Heredia gave to Jeff de Guzman through email and "WhatsApp."
1. Heredia advised De Guzman to allow Dapudong to take in food and avoid the old practice of really starving the boxers to the point that they are famished;
2. Heredia told De Guzman to be watchful of the water intake and to make sure that the night before the weigh-in, Dapudong must not be given water to avoid weight problems. True enough, Edrin tipped the scale at 114.2 lbs., way below the 115 lbs. limit but he was not famished or very dry.
3. Heredia "overhauled" the old practice, especially by Filipino boxers of gulping down a lot of water and devouring a lot of food, especially rice, right after the weigh in. Instead, he asked De Guzman to measure the water intake because excessive water intake could make the boxer sluggish on fight night he said.
4. For the food after the weigh in, Heredia instructed De Guzman to give Dapudong bananas and apple first and to avoid heavy food. This was followed by a light meal of pasta and sweets consisting ice cream and chocolate cake.
5. Instead of the usual Gatorade which most boxers take right after weigh in, Heredia recommended Hydrites mixed with water.
6. The heavy meal consisting of a huge steak with rice was given to Dapudong at night before he went to bed. Heredia said this would allow the boxer to store the food which will help him regain strength on fight night.
7. Breakfast the following day was light and pasta and vegetables were again given to Dapudong for lunch and bread as snacks before the fight.
For me and for Dapudong, these advises were "revolutionary" because in the practice we have been used to, our boxers would have a feast of beef broth with a lot of soup and rice right after weigh in.
Water intake was unlimited and even salty food was given to the boxers.
Oftentimes in the past, I and the trainers asked ourselves why our boxers would be very slow during the fight, panting and gasping for breath.
What did Dapudong say after the fight?
"I felt light and I was able to move quickly," he said.
This was the result of "Heredia's Secret Nutritional Formula."
It made a lot of sense and it worked for Dapudong. In fact, I instructed Jeff to extend to Memo my "thanks" for his help.
Now, I cannot say that this was the same thing that Heredia did to Marquez or that indeed no PEDs were given to the Mexican.
In as far as Dapudong is concerned, no "PEDs" were emailed or sent through WhatsApp? and my boxer's urine sample will prove this.
It worked for Dapudong and we will do the same routine the next time he fights, with or without Memo Heredia sending the instructions through email or "WhatsApp."
Photo: Photo of Angel Memo Heredia with 50 Cent downloaded from Memo's facebook.com page.
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