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BROTHEL HOUSE OF SPORTS


PhilBoxing.com


“The fight racket” wrote American sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, “ ever since its rotten beginnings, has always been the red light district of sports.”

“The fight racket” Cannon was referring to is no other than the sport of boxing.

How true indeed!

This is the only sport where stories of athletes taking a literal dive is common. Boxers, until today, still are willing to sell fights for a hefty sum and this often happens in Thailand where Filipino fighters are openly asked to lose fights in favor of upcoming Thai boxers.

Locally, I know of so many stories of boxers who were asked to lose their bouts because their managers wanted to make money by betting on the other fighter.

The bribing of judges to get a favorable judgment in very close fights is not uncommon.

This is the only sport where athletes are cheated by their managers. Cases of promoters not paying boxers’ purses after the fight have also been recorded. The perfect example is Luisito Espinosa whose 1997 title defense against Argentina’s Carlos Rius remains unpaid until today – a whooping P7.2-M in today’s dollar-peso conversion rate.

Boxing indeed is the brothel house of sports. But you know, sometimes love blooms even in brothel houses and this happens when the people involved are into the sport of boxing not mainly for the money but for the love of it.

For the love of Luisito Espinosa, the meek and gentle former world champion whose life is not exactly a story with a happy ending after he was not paid of his purse and his wife left him for another man, I and Immigration Commissioner Al Fernandez, a true lover of boxing, and Luisito’s former manager, agreed to help one another in staging a benefit boxing show for Louie.

“Battle Royale,” the monthly boxing program I have been staging to support young aspiring boxers, will move to Manila in October of this year and hold the “North vs. South Boxing Extravaganza.

The fight card will feature Mindanao’s best boxers today against fighters from Luzon and Visayas. Fans will have the opportunity to see budding boxing stars from Mindanao, like RP jr. bantamweight champion Eric Barcelona of Bukidnon, bantamweight Glenn Porras, jr. flyweight Dennis Juntillano, undefeated miniflyweight Tommy Terado, Rex Pe?alosa who is also a minifflyweight and 19-year-old Ervin Dapudong of North Cotabato.

At 5’5”, Dapudong is tall for a miniflyweight and is a joy to see inside the ring because of his well-delivered punches and excellent defensive strategy.

But more than just witnessing exciting fights, the “North vs. South Encounter” will prove to everybody that not everybody in “the racket of boxing” is into it mainly because of money.

Por la amor de boxeo! For the love of boxing and the boxers who gave us the happy and glorious moments in the past.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Manny Piñol.


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