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Goodbye to London: Another view


PhilBoxing.com




THE fall of boxer Charly Suarez dealt a tragic blow on the country's (already) flimsy bid in this year's London Olympics.
It was so numbing that there was yet nothing clear on what really caused Suarez's fall.

A featherweight pumped up quick to fit into lightweight calendar, Suarez was proving bigger than life in his early bouts in the Asian Olympic qualifier.

The five-foot-7 top Filipino hope however fell short in his final clash with the five-foot-10 Liu Quian of China, a seasoned natural lightweight.

Of course, it was not only his lack in necessary inches that did Suarez in.

The Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap), for one, readily snapped that Suarez fell a victim of biased judging.

**

This reporter noted that, in the first place, the Abap should've not been deluded into believing the Olympic quest could be fast-tracked.

The reformatory thrust of the new Abap was only a little over two years in place, and they had to field readily available material before they could produce an aspirant equipped with the legit Olympic style and build.

Was there also something wrong in the managerial set-up?
"They are certainly neither corrupt nor inefficient. They have genuine good intentions," said Manny Pinol, respected boxing manager and commentator."

Where did they fail?

"Their only problem is that they are basically marketing and promotions guys who are more concerned with the fancy and the flair and good media coverage and press releases."

What?

"Their knowledge of amateur boxing is quite limited. I sensed this when I attended what was supposed to be an amateur boxing forum in Bacolod City a few years back which was also intended to mark the formal and official entry of Smart Communications and Manny Pangilinan into amateur boxing."

**

Hoping that the forum would really look into what was needed to rehabilitate and revitalize the country's amateur boxing program, Pinol said he prepared and brought with him a composite blueprint of a national amateur boxing program.

Pinol was prepared to present the blueprint during the convention.

He backed out.

"What I saw in the ballroom of the Bacolod City hotel where the event was held was not a consultative or learning forum, but a grand celebration, complete with beautiful usherettes and pop confetti, a spectacular show designed to please "The Boss," Manny Pangilinan," Pinol said.

**

"Marketing and promotions wise, it was exceptional." Pinol said. "But boxing is not like Mang Inasal, whose franchise after outstanding packaging and marketing, was bought by another company for a cool billion pesos. In boxing, there is the fighting and the punching part, the essence of the whole thing, which will probe and test the quality of the product being promoted and marketed."

He continued: "In the thick of the celebration, nobody even dared to ask: Are there other boxers being molded and readied for future Olympics?

Well, the answer to the last question is a big "No!" Aside from the Panabo Boxing Team of former congressman Tonyboy Floreindo, which produced Suarez and the others, there is hardly any other provincial boxing team actively involved in amateur boxing.

There is no organized provincial, regional or even national boxing tournaments aimed at discovering new talents. In fact, the absence of these amateur boxing competitions have resulted in the entry of outstanding amateur boxing talents into the pro league, including a 5' 10" tall 17-year-old lightweight who just turned pro this year and has already scored two first round knockouts in his first two professional bouts."

Pinol advised that, had there been provincial, regional and national competitions initiated by ABAP and staged every year, the range of boxing talents to choose from would be wide.

**

"Add to that a national amateur boxing academy to be established in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao where these young prospective fighters could continue their studies while training and preparing for the Olympics. This is the blueprint that I, Recah Trinidad, Quinito Henson, Hermie Rivera, Dennis Principe, Nick Giongco, Abac Cordero and the other sports journalists who love boxing, have long proposed - a rational national amateur boxing program that not only focuses on the marketing of the finished products but also in making sure that the products being marketed are not "ampaos."

With the embarrassing state Philippine amateur boxing, Pinol said he's willing to retrieve from his old computer files the "National Amateur Boxing Development Blueprint" which he prepared and would have shared in Bacolod City many years ago.

"Promise, I will not charge ABAP a franchise or talent fee," he concluded.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Recah Trinidad.


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