Torrecampo’s cornerman cautions Pacquiao
By Eddie Alinea
Sun, 01 Sep 2013
MANILA (PNA) --The man who manned the corner of Rustico Torrecampo when the obscure fighter knocked out the then up and coming Manny Pacquiao 17 years ago cautioned the Filipino ring icon against carelessness when he fights American Brandon Rios in Macau.
“Manny should watch out and not make the mistake he committed against (Juan Manuel) Marquez last December,” Tambong del Rosario, a boxing trainer who called the shots when Torrecampo stopped the then practically greenhorn Pacquiao in the third round on February 9, 1996 in Mandaluyong City, said in Tagalog.
“Tamang mas bata si Rios at may gatas pa sa labi, pero may tibay at malakas din naman na puedeng makapagpatama ng matindi sa oras na maging pabaya ang kalaban (Maybe Rios is younger and lacks experience but he, definitely, possesses strength and endurance who can connect when his rival gets careless),” Del Rosario cautioned in a chance interview with this writer last Saturday.
“Wala pang talo si Manny noong makalaban namin at siyempre medyo dehado kami. Eh tinamaan ni Rustico nang di nya (Pacquiao) inaasahan, tumba at nabilangan (Manny was undefeated when we met him, so we were the underdog. Rustico connected when Manny least expected it and that’s is)," Del Rosario who now works under the Shape Up Boxing Stable of Anson Tiu Co, said.
“Ganun namana talaga ang boksing. Walang underdog, walang paborito. Ang boksing patamaan ng suntok. Pag tinamaan ka ng malakas, tutumba ka at pag natumba ka, puedeng matulog,” ito ang dapat tandaan ng mga boksingero, Del Rosario said by way of an advice.
Tembong refuses to believe though that the eight-division world champion is slowing down and on the way out, saying Pacquiao, who is turning 35 this December still has what it takes to be champion again and regains the top spot in the world pound-for-pound list.
“Yung laban kay (Tim Bradley) nadaya, alam ng buong mundo yun. Against Marquez, lamang na lamang ang bata natin. Kaya lang mas preparado and Mexicano. He waited for the right opportunity that came in the sixth round, nakakita ng opening and boom,” he recalled.
“Ok pa si Manny. Kelangan lang niya mag-concentrate at maging serious sa ensayo. Not that he had not been serious in his preparations in previous fights, but sabi nga, he’s not getting any younger at ang makakalaban niya bata pa,” he assessed.
“Yung killer instinct ni Manny, nandun pa. Ang pagkauhaw, di nawawala, ibabalik lang,” he said. “ At mababalik lang yun kung naka-focus sa ensayo,” Del Rosario quipped.” Dapat walang distraction. Ang isip dapat nasa boksing lang, wala sa pulitika, sa problema and everything else outside of boxing.”
Tembong also believes the Pacquiao-Rios fight promises to be a very interesting showdown because the American’s style seems fit to the Filipino’s. “The fight could turn out to be what we call in boxing a slambang affair. Buntalan at bakbakang umaatikabo. Kung sino unang tumama panalo.”
“Reports from Rios’ camp sound like he’s preparing hard. Si Manny nagsisimula pa lang, but it’s still early and knowing him, he will be able to catch up.,” he said. “Manny should start early and cautiously.“
“I think Manny should finish Rios by the time the fight reaches six rounds. Mas bata nga si Rios at malakas din,” Del Rosario, a former fighter himself, reasoned out. “Bumabangga at nagpapatama. Kaya hindi dapat magkumpiyansa. Kayang- kaya daw ni Manny si Rios, sabi ng marami. Marahil nga. Kung hindi tatama, eh kung hindi tumama? Madulas din si Rios.”
“Isa pa nga pala, pag November, autumn na at malamig sa Macau. Baka walang nakaka-realize nun sa kampo ni Manny. Dapat siguro mag-acclimatize siya bago magpunta ng Macau. Kahit one week lang sa Baguio puede na,” Del Rosario suggested.
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