Philippines, 11 Dec 2023
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Bleacher Report: Jhack Tepora

You want to scold him but you also feel sorry for him. You want to criticize him but also say it?s all fine, ?bawi lang.? It?s Jhack Tepora at the crossroads so early in his career, a major test that will either make or break him. At such a young age, how can a world title prospect be five pounds over the weight limit in what should?ve been his debut under the lights of Vegas? I hate to admit it but I can?t recall any Cebu boxer who missed weight in his first fight in the United States. All boxers who have made debuts in the U.S. made sure they were in shape and on weight for their first big fight overseas that also meant purses that were three to five times the usual. To them, it was an important fight that opened their doors to bigger paychecks and to fights against some of the world?s best. This also served as a chance to show the guys from Top Rank, Golden Boy and Al Haymon whether or not they were worth pursuing as prizefighters. But I guess there?s always a first for everything. It?s just sad this had to happen to Jhack. But there?s nowhere else to go but up and I hope Jhack sincerely makes up for this booboo by making a comeback to the ring with a vengeance.

I don?t want to look for excuses for Jhack but now that he?s practically on his own and no longer staying at the Omega Boxing Gym (his home since he was a teen-ager), his life has changed drastically, and it hasn?t been exactly ideal, or has it? Check out his Facebook profile and you?ll see what I mean. Note that he?s still under a long-term contract with Omega Pro Sports International. But he hasn?t trained at the Omega Boxing Gym since around September of 2018. MP Promotions signed him up as one of their future world-beaters and now has a say on his career, in consultation with Omega. On paper, that?s an excellent set-up for Jhack. He gets to live on his own, train on his own and still be managed by Omega and MP Promotions. What else could one ask for?

At this stage, I?d rather not to go into his concerns and issues with his trainers and coaching staff, but I do hope he settles this once and for all. But one thing is certain, I don?t think he had a legit training camp when he signed up for the Hugo Ruiz fight. A genuine training camp is all that one needs to make weight. It?s that simple. You train, you stay in shape and you maintain your weight.

And so here are some unsolicited advices for Jhack if he wants to get another chance from MP Promotions. Stay off Facebook. This may be tough but Jhack has to realize that his use of Facebook has not been a good partner for his career. Jhack should no longer talk about boxing issues on his personal Facebook profile or timeline. In fact, he shouldn?t be active on Facebook while in training camp as if Facebook were his diary. Train in private. Don?t rant and keep your thoughts to yourself. The more you talk, the more you open yourself to the cruel and wild world of Facebook and social media. Should he wish to go on Facebook, let it be done the professional way. Set up a Facebook Page for Jhack Tepora the athlete, not the person.

Jhack should also report to someone who can influence his actions. He has referred to ?mga dagkong tae? in a past interview. My question now is who is that person who can control Jhack?s activities? Is Omega Pro Sports International President Paulo Castillo still on top of him? Or is he now completely under the control of MP Promotions? Under Manny Pacquiao? Sean Gibbons? Jhack has said that he will now train religiously and that he will stick to the 126-pound featherweight division. He also promised that he won?t be overweight at his next weigh-in. So who?s going to make sure that he sticks to his commitments to make weight? To who will Jhack report on his current weight and training camp status?

Be professional. Boxing is a sport that demands a total commitment. Sacrifice and discipline are its bywords and if one can?t practice these, he might as will quit boxing for good. Nobody said boxing will be easy, but it can be easy if one stays in shape, maintains his weight and not give in to the easy life and social media. Boxing is a career. You earn through boxing but there are pre-requisites to earning your pay. Just like any other regular job, we pour in all our efforts to our work and will be rewarded if we deserve this. The fruits will be produced naturally.

Look at two models near you: Donnie Nietes and Manny Pacquiao. They may be multiple division world champions, yet their dedication to the sport is remarkable. They weren?t satisfied with just two or three world championships, and so they went for four; eight in the case of the Pacman. They stay in shape all year-round and making weight is hardly an issue. Jhack hasn?t even won a regular world title and he?s already having these problems?

Let?s go Jhack! Forget Facebook. Train hard. Work hard. Stay in shape. Then maybe, just maybe, MP Promotions might call you again for another fight. And when that happens, listen to and obey your superior who should be on top your career.

Maayong adlaw!

Photo: Jhack Tepora weighs in in Las Vegas Jan. 18 where he came up 5.5 lbs. over the featherweight limit and forfeited his fight against Hugo Ruiz of Mexico on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Broner fight on Jan. 19.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rico Navarro.

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