THE DAPIDRAN SAGA: LEWKOWICZ REPLIES
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
24 Aug 2015
Early Sunday morning as I was finishing my routine Sunday treks up at the hills of Rocky Point at nearby Chatsworth, CA I got a phone call from Sampson Lewkowicz, the South American US-based boxing promoter who recently signed Manny Pacquiao’s young cousin Jonel Dapidran (6-0-0,3 KO) to a “promotional contract”.
I elected not to answer his call there and then because I knew he would not call me if it were not important. I need to be seated at my home office to take the call and soak in every bit of the conversation. Therefore, when I got back home, I returned his call.
As usual, Lewkowicz is very cordial and respectful. And, he was also ready to expound on his position regarding the recent controversy regarding Jonel Dapidran.
We had a very long but pleasant conversation and Lewkowicz explained to me his perspective regarding the whole Dapidran Saga.
Apparently, Lewkowicz with his vast experience as a promoter saw something that aroused his interest on Dapidran. “I saw something different that no one else saw in spite of simply viewing a homemade video of Dapidran in action,” he said.
Lewkowicz was reminded of the young Manny Pacquiao who he brought to Murad Muhammad and Sidney Hall when no one else would believe that a “very small Filipino” has a future in boxing. Of course, the rest is history. Pacquiao went on to be the only boxer in the world to win 8 different divisional world titles and a Philippine billionaire.
Lewkowicz explains that Dapidran was signed and given a fight by Nonoy Neri in November 2014. But to date he was not given any other significant fight that would allow him to even make a small living.
But more importantly, he said, the “contract” was illegal because Dapidran technically cannot sign a legal document being a mere 16 years old without his parent’s consent.
Although the Philippine Games and Amusement Board (GAB) was sent a copy per usual procedures, it did not necessarily make the contract legal as it was not countersigned by Dapidran’s parents.
For some reason, GAB missed that aspect of the contract.
The lack of further fights frustrated Dapidran and he sough help from people he knows so he can advance his career. That eventually led him to Lewkowicz.
Lewkowicz‘ contention was the kid at this stage can sign with anyone for as long as the parents are informed and they agree by signing too because the alleged contract he has with Nonoy Neri of the MP Promotions was not legally valid. Therefore he felt free to sign Dapidran to a “promotional” contract.
He signed Dapidran with the parents involved in the signing last August 18th. He states that he even has photos of the actual signing with Dapidran and his parents present.
However, he specified that the “contract” would automatically become void when Dapidran turns 18 in January 2016.
When that occurs, “Dapidran can sign with anyone he wishes to, including with him, Neri, Golden Boy, Top Rank or anyone else. If he choose to sign with anyone else other than me, I wish him good luck,” stated Lewkowicz.
Lewkowicz informs that he moved Dapidran’s training camp from Las Vegas to Cebu with Jun Agrabio who will train him and make a determination if he is ready to fight this year. “If he is, as his promoter, I will find him a fight or two,” he said.
“Otherwise, we will wait for January 2016 when Dapidran turns 18 and can legally decide with whom he wishes to sign with to continue his career.
Lewkowicz expressed his displeasure with Neri who he indicated defamed him through certain published articles.
Nonoy Neri (who he facetiously called NoNo instead of Nonoy) according to Lewkowicz damaged his reputation and if he continues to do so, it leaves him no choice but to seek a legal remedy. “I will seek a legal remedy for defamation,” he said”
And so the Dapidran saga continues.
From this writer’s perspective, it will do everyone good if Neri and folks from the MP Promotions and Lewkowicz all sit down together and amicably discuss the matter instead of trying to resolve this matter through the media.
That is the only way to create a win-win situation for everyone and perhaps somewhere down the line we will see another Filipino world champion.
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