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List of Articles by Manny Piņol


 

AFTER FORTY YEARS, BOXING RETURNS TO HISTORIC TOWN

By Manny Piņol
PhilBoxing.com
13 Sep 2013


Mayor Ty.
-- Plaridel, Misamis Occidental - This seaside town in the northwest part of the island of Mindanao is rich with history as evidenced by the many old wooden houses some of which are over 100 years old.

It carries a historic name, Plaridel, and is located in between two other towns also having names which evoke the country's great past - Lopez Jaena and Calamba, named after the hometown of national hero Jose Rizal.

Not far from Plaridel is the City of Dapitan where Rizal was exiled by the Spaniards.

Quiet, quaint and very rural, Plaridel only comes to life during the celebration of the town patronal fiesta and its foundation week celebration.

It has not had a big sports event in recent memory.

in fact, there has not been a boxing event for over 40 years until last Wednesday when its second-term mayor, Engr. Diego "Nonoy" Ty decided to stage a boxing card which featured only three professional bouts and 13 amateur bouts.

The three professional bouts were spiced up by a three-round sparring match between IBO World Junior Bantamweight champion Edrin "The Sting" Dapudong and an Iligan City-based lightweight.

Two former WBO Oriental champions, featherweight Lorenzo "Thunderbolt" Villanueva, 27, and miniflyweight Rommel "Little Assassin" Asenjo, 23, and lightweight prospect Roskie "Kapre" Cristobal, 19, provided local boxing fans the chance to display world class boxing.

Villanueva defeated Alvin Makiling by decision in 10, Asenjo knocked out Brobro Languido with a wicked body shot in the first round, while Cristobal, who is 5' 10" tall, retired Eric Mancera after three rounds to score his 6th straight KO win in as many fights.

The amateur bouts which featured even elderly fishermen some of whom came in worn out shorts and old rubber shoes whose soles flew off in the thick of the action, were made more hilarious by the participation of two midget fighters and two gay boxers.

But what made the event spectacular was the amazing number of people who lined up as early as 2 p.m. to witness the first boxing event in over 40 years.

"The last time I saw a boxing event in this town was when I was about 11 years old and that was over 40 years ago," said Mayor Ty who himself was surprised by the huge crowd.

Local folks lined up as early as 2 p.m. and paid P100 to be at ringside and P50 to be the bleachers.

Those who could not afford to pay for the tickets were still able to see the fights but they had to stand up at at the front entrance of the municipal gymnasium.

All told, police estimated the crowd at 5,000 and the huge attendance obviously inspired the neophyte politician, Mayor Ty, who pledged that more boxing events will be held in the town in the future.

"You made our fiesta very memorable. The people are very happy," said Pablo Stephen "Pipit" Ty, brother of the mayor who was one of those who sponsored the event along with another brother, Barangay Poblacion Chairman Boy Ty.

The boxing event, dubbed "Mano-Mano sa Bagong Plaridel," was actually hastily organized and it was staged as the last big event of the week-long fiesta celebration of the town.

Mayor Ty said he intends to launch a grassroots boxing program in the town and will start with the establishment of a gym and the fabrication of a boxing ring which will be brought to the barangay fiestas of the town.

"We hope to discover young talents and maybe, just like M'lang, North Cotabato, we will be able to produce our own world champion in the future," Mayor Ty said.

It's not a farfetched dream given the support of the townsfolk who savored every moment of the first boxing event to be held in the town for over 40 years.


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