EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE PUNGLUANG SOR SINGYU TRAINING CAMP IN THAILAND (REPORT & PHOTOS)
By Carlos Costa
Mon, 15 Oct 2012
SUAN LUANG, Thailand - Thailand's Pungluang Sor Singyu, the world's #2 bantamweight prepares for his WBO bantamweight world title clash against highly regarded world's #1 Filipino AJ "Bazooka" Banal, a rumble scheduled for this coming Saturday (Oct 20) in Manila, Philippines,
The 24 year-old Pungluang Sor Singyu (42-1, 27KO's), born in Thailand's central-western Province of Uthai Thani - whose amazing wildlife sanctuary was declared a world heritage - is currently being sharpened by Filipino head trainer Romeo Desabille, born in Davao, now a resident of Muntinlupa, the Emerald City of the Philippines.
"For me as a professional boxing trainer, it's a great honor that an important boxing promotion company in Thailand trusts me to help in the training of his top boxer Puangluang Sor Singyu for this world title fight. I am humbled and appreciative of the opportunity to showcase what a good Filipino trainer can do in the international stage," said Desabille, a former member of Davao's Amateur Boxing Team.
"In my heart, I wish the world will know that my beloved country, the Philippines, not only produces great boxing champions like Pacquiao, Donaire and Nietes, but also good professional boxing trainers."
Romeo Desabille, 39, joins the list of international Filipino trainers who have been preparing top Thai fighters, being the most famous of those trainers, the charismatic Bobby Villaver, now living in Honolulu, who has been head trainer of world class Thai boxers during their preparations for world title combats, assignment that Villaver has performed with laudable success.
Filipino sparring partners are also a common fixture in Thailand's boxing scene.
Recently, for example, the current WBA super flyweight world champion Teeparith Kokietgym and his manager Kokiet Panichayarom put their trust on talented Filipino boxers Dayer Gabutan Singwancha and Jilo Merlin to help Teeparith in his long vigorous conditioning required to get the Thai world champion in the best shape of his life for such important combat. The good decision led the Thailander to successfully defend his world title in Yokohama, Japan.
This author was in ringside at Yokohama Arena to witness that, thanks to his Filipino connection, the Thai's conditioning was superb.
Therefore, the joint decision from the promotion company Onesongchai Boxing and Mr. Sor Singyu (the millionaire Thai businessman manager of Pungluang Sor Singyu), to have a Filipino trainer as well as Filipino sparring partner might not surprise much.
The reason is not only the proven quality of Filipino trainers and sparring partners, but the fact that many coaches in Thailand dedicate their efforts to training fighters in the ancient martial art of Muay Thai, by far the most popular and fashionable combat sport in the Kingdom.
THE SPARRING PARTNERS
That said, when trainer Romeo Desabille took the helm of Pungluang's preparation several weeks ago, he brought with him talented Filipino southpaw professional fighter Jerwin Ancajas (15-1, 7KO's), born in the costal Dakbayan sa Panabo in Davao del Norte.
Since his arrival in Thailand, Ancanjas has work as assistant to Pungluang and Desabille, as well as the Thai's main sparring partner, obviously so, since AJ Banal (Pungluang's opponent), is a southpaw with speed, good moves, skills and power, features somehow similar to the fighting stance of Ancajas.
The other sparring partner, Su Shilong - from the southwestern city of Kunming, capital of Yunan Province in China - has been in camp for the development of strength and the practice of combat in close range toe-to-toe infight, as well as mid-distance, fighting stance favored by Pungluang.
In contrast, Filipino Jerwin Acanjas was the sparring partner for improvement of technique, the sharpening of smart moves and the reinforcement of fight skills.
But trainer Desabille ended sparring sessions last week.
That's why training these days consists of two twenty minutes runs, first at 6am and then at 3pm, plus sessions of heavy bag and endless time spent in doing the mitts and other physical exercises.
According to trainer Desabille, Pungluang did enough sparring rounds and the goal now must be increasing speed and as well as getting into the right weight for his trip to Manila.
GETTING IN WEIGHT
"Getting to Manila in 120 or 121 lbs should be OK," believes Desabille.
After the day's training, Pungluang was 128 pounds, which is, according to the trainer, "a good weight one week away from the official weight-in" to take place in Manila.
With the hot and humid weather these days at camp here in Thailand (90?F, 85% Humidity), Pungluang should keep coming down in weight easily.
The wellness and conditioning coach Mr. Noi, a trusted member of the Onesongchai Boxing Promotion company, who has been glued to Pungluang and is satisfied with the Filipinos work at handling their top boxer.
WE SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF BOXING
"I like them. They are professionals and nice people," confided Mr. Noi, for many years a man of boxing who also write a weekly opinion column for a local boxing tabloid.
Desabille and Ancajas has clicked well with Pungluang, Su Shilong and Noi. The five have been working for weeks and it seems friendship has flourished and will continue regardless of the result of October 20.
The Chinese sparring partner, Shilong, speaks only Chinese, but the Filipino trainer managed to give him instructions on what to do during the sparring sessions and, to all accounts, it all went well.
"We speak the language of Boxing," he said.
As for Pungluang, he understands English and can speak some. During training, instructions in "boxing english" from his Filipino trainer have been understood perfectly by the smart Pungluang. Indeed, language has not been a deterrent.
Meanwhile, the younger member in Pungluang's team, 20-year-old Filipino sparring partner Jerwin Ancajas, who during his last fight demolished and knocked out Mexican Miguel Tamayo shared:
"I feel happy to meet a nice person like Pungluang and all the other Thai people around us. Thais treat us really nice. Good food, good accommodation, I can lift weight and we all have good understanding. We run together, train together, eat together, laugh together day after day is a good way to know that the person has a good heart."
Pungluang's five-member boxing team, along with manager Mr. Sor Singyu and the directors of Onesongchai Boxing Promotions will be heading to Manila, Philippines in the coming days for the most important fight in Pungluang's life.
"I HAVE MY EYES IN A WORLD TITLE IN BOXING"
One of the two stars of this Saturday clash, Pungluang Sor Singyu, shared:
"I love boxing since I was a kid and now I have my eyes in a world title in Boxing. It's my dream."
However, not only boxers are getting ready. Officials are getting ready too.
For the AJ Banal vs Pungluang Sor Singyu title match, the WBO has named an All-American panel of officials who will be arriving in the Philippines in the coming days.
Referee in charge of the action will be the well-known 56 year-old Tony Weeks of Las Vegas; judges Levi Martinez of New Mexico, Robert Hoyle of Las Vegas and Raul Caiz Jr. of California.
The Banal vs Sor Singyu is the main event of Pinoy Pride XVII, a successful boxing series produced by ALA Boxing Promotions of Don Antonio L. Aldeguer.
The fight will be televised live in the Kingdom of Thailand on Channel NBT TV Channel 11 @ 9:30pm (Thailand Time)
This writer wishes to express its appreciation to manager Sor Singyu, boxer Pungluang Sor Singyu as well as to Ms. Ratanasuban of Onesongchai Boxing Promotions for their warm welcome during our visit at the Pungluang Sor Singyu training camp here in Thailand.
Readers: wait for the Part 2 of "Inside Pungluang Sor Singyu Training Camp in Thailand," with MORE NEW PHOTOS.
Today in Thailand. From L to R: Thai conditioning coach Mr. Noi Onesongchai, World Title Challenger Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand, Pungluang's trainer Mr. Romeo Desabilles of the Philippines and the author Panama's boxing writer Carlos Costa.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.
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