The Palicte-Rodriguez Fight – An adventure for the Team (Photos)
By Ed de la Vega, DDS
Sun, 10 Dec 2017
When Roy Jones Promotions announced not too long ago that Aston Palicte will be defending his crown for the first time in the USA, Round Rock, Texas specifically, the Team became outright excited and promised to do well and much more, enjoy the adventure to the Lone Star State.
The fight is now done and thanks to the coaches and Palicte’s hard work and dedication, Palicte will be going home to Bago City, Negros Occidental with his belt safely tucked- in inside his suitcase. That fulfills the first promise-to do well. The other promise was to enjoy the adventure.
Team Palicte indeed keep the second promise as well. They had a hell of a good time from the training period to the last good bye at LAX on our way to our respective homes.
From day one of camp chief trainer Rodel Mayol made sure that training was tough but enjoyable. He kept Palicte in focus with the help of his assistant/partner, Stanley Godinez. Mayol run a strict camp following a training protocol he designed himself based on his experiences and observations watching other trainers. But, he also allowed some slack so the training will not be a boring routine. Mayol kept the camp going for six days a week at varying intensities and reserved Sundays for church and rest and relaxation. With that, when the day of the trip came, the attitude of the whole team was upbeat.
Then the adventure begun. The team took a Delta Airlines flight to Austin, Texas. And as fate has it, they were assigned the very back seats. But it was fine as they had the whole area for themselves. As expected and to the dismay of assistant trainer, Ernel Fontanilla, Delta only served water, soda and juices with little bags of pretzels. No dinner unless it was bought and paid for on board.
Trainer Rodel Mayol wraps the hand of Aston Palicte before the fight as an official inspector and the author, who is also the cutman, look on.
When they got to Austin, the biggest surprise was the weather. It was a bone chilling 40°F and they only had light jackets. That made their trip to Walmart the next morning to buy groceries another chilling experience. Thanks to Uber however, the trip to Walmart was made a bit easier.
The promotions that picked the hotel for the event made a right choice. The management crew at Sleep Inn and Suites at Round Rock were so understanding of the team’s needs and they allowed them to use the kitchen on the morning of the weigh-in day to cook their own food. Boy, did they cook!
The Team prepared so much to assure that Palicte had nutritious and balanced menu to pick from complete with chicken soup with assorted vegetable, grilled Grade A wild Alaskan salmon, and choice steaks to eat after the weigh-in. Just about the only veggie missing was the “malunggay” which Walmart did not carry.
At the weigh-in held at the showroom of Central Texas Acura dealership some 25 miles north of the hotel, things were upbeat. For a small promotion the number of fans that showed up was impressive. Palicte went through the mandatory medical check up and then had to face a small battery of media people who threw deep searching questions to Palicte. This writer had the honor to translate for Palicte.
The action atop the ring, Palicte, right and Rodriguez, left.
Then the fighters stepped on the scales. Both Palicte and Rodgriguez made weight thus the fight was on.
The night after the weigh-in, the sky opened and snow started falling right as the team went down to dinner. Round Rock folks stated that it had not snowed in South Texas in over a decade so we were lucky to see it fall in this area again. Of course, we took time out to enjoy the outdoors for a few minutes taking photos and videos. After the huge dinner that was shared with the front desk staff, the Team tucked Palicte in bed. Then they watched the Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saint on TV before they all called it a night.
Fight day was a lazy day and the Team just spent the morning walking around for fresh air. Then they returned to the hotel and cook lunch consisting of chicken adobo and beef –veggie soup. After lunch, they caught a couple hours of sleep.
At 4:30 PM they left for the venue and the rest was history. Palicte put up one the best performances in his career scoring a delayed reaction KO in the fifth round against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico.
Palicte is all smiles after his impressive performance.
The next day after the fight, the Team used a rented car and went sight seeing at downtown Austin, visiting among other places, the Texas State Capitol. Following the small tour, they proceeded to the airport, returned the car and checked in early so they can have a late lunch.
Team Palicte was treated to a huge barbecue lunch at the Salt Lick BBQ located inside the airport terminal courtesy of the Airport Food Service Manager, Francis Landeta of Pfuygervile, and Texas. Landeta is a nephew of this author.
The team boarded Delta Flight 111 bound for LAX short time later and was soon on the way back home.
Team Palicte at Texas capitol.
Team Palicte enjoy lunch at Texas airport.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ed de la Vega, DDS.
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