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REY CAITOM: UNFINISHED BUSINESS

PhilBoxing.com




Rey Caitom Jr. teased the boxing world with consecutive national titles at youth level and an undefeated pro streak, before announcing his retire at age 20 to fulfil his scholarship and achieve his life goal of building a house for his family. Having accomplished that and more, he?s back to finish what he started.

In his second amateur year, 12-year-old Rey Caitom Jr. won his first national championship. The following year, he stepped up in the 13-and-up category and claimed five consecutive titles, beating boys up to three years his senior in the process.

He started his professional career as impressively, notching a 6-0-1 record. Rey loved boxing and he was brilliant at it, but his family always came first. He knew there was more money to be made outside the ring, if he played it right. So, a year into his pro career, Rey retired at 20 years old to further his studies on a scholarship he earned with his national championships.

Upon graduation, he took on a coaching job at the prestigious ALA Gym, where he coached professional boxers including former IBF light flyweight world champion Milan Melindo and regional champ Czar Amonsot. For extra income, he coached fitness at ALA?s branches after hours.


Rey Caitom overpowers Khachonsak Pothong during his last outing in Singapore.

In 2010, Rey moved to Singapore on an offer from Vanda gym who were impressed by his track record as a competitor and coach. He lived as he boxed, with resolute focus and discipline. Despite the generous pay hike, Rey continued to save and sacrifice, spending only on bare necessities and his family.

With his coaching career and housing goal well on track, the competitor that lay dormant in him began to stir. Dreams of a world title played in his head and why not? He was as worthy a contender as any he coached. Rey handed in a request to represent Vanda as a pro boxer, but the gym declined as he was too valuable a trainer. It was a blow, but he took it in his stride and continued to excel in his role.

Eight years passed. The Caitom family home in Cebu had long been built and had even undergone refurbishment. Finally, Rey felt that he had enough financial reserve to leave his day job. Having secured Juggernaut Fight Club?s Arvind Lalwani as his coach and manager, it was time to return from retirement and settle unfinished business.

After 12 years out of competitive boxing, he knew that he had to ease himself back into form. After a month of juggling work and training ? waking up at 5:30 am to run before work, training and sparring through lunchtime before fishing up with private training sessions at 10pm, cycling between venues the whole way ? Rey broke from sheer exhaustion and wanted to quit.


Caitom pads up his undefeated record after stopping Photong in Singapore.

The next day, he was back at it, driven by his determination to succeed. Rey soon conditioned his body for the demanding routine, but it would take another seven months before he was ready for his comeback.

In November 2018, Rey won his comeback fight by unanimous decision. He followed that up seven months later with a perfect performance at the Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) 7 to beat his far more experienced opponent by TKO.

Rey will contend the WBC Asian Boxing Council minimumweight title at SFC 8 ?Renegades of Fight?. For him, it is just another day on the job, a necessary step towards a world title.

SFC 8 ?Renegades of Fight?
Saturday, 28 September 2019
Foochow Building, Singapore




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