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‘WE ARE PRODUCERS OF WORLD CHAMPS’
Iloilo boxing trainer to GAB: How about us?



PhilBoxing.com


ILOILO CITY – The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) successfully staged the first GAB boxing convention in Manila last April 19-22 and awarded plaques of recognition to 33 Filipino former world champions, but ignored boxing trainers and coaches who have made big contributions as well to professional boxing in the country.

This was the lament issued recently by Alfredo “Pidong” Amistoso, Sr., 70, a former national flyweight contender who now trains professional boxers in a makeshift gymn Arevalo district here.


PRODUCERS OF CHAMPIONS. Amistoso (right) and his former mentor and now fellow Ilonggo boxing trainer Mario Lumacad, Sr. during a "reunion" meeting inside a boxing camp in Surabaya, Indonesia sometime in March 1997 where Lumacad had been based in the early 90's. Both trainers hail from Molo, Iloilo City and both claim they have produced world champions. (Photo taken by Alex Vidal)

Amistoso, who reportedly clinched the national flyweight championship in 1958 on points from Ric Diaz in Zamboanga City, said in national events or gathering of boxing personalities such as the recent convention, GAB should also recognize the role of boxing trainers since they are the “producers” of Filipino world champions.

“Without us trainers, there would be no Filipino world champions. There would be no (Roland) Navarette and (people’s champion) Manny Pacquiao,” Amistoso said in vernacular.

OLYMPICS

Amistoso listed 1988 Seoul Olympics bronze medalist (48 kg) Leopoldo Serrantes, former Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) junior lightweight champion Felix Tuble, and former World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight king William Magahin as among his wards when he was still training boxers in the YMCA gymn on Iznart St., City Proper here in the 80’s and 90’s.

As a professional boxer, Amistoso said he was under the tutelage of Mario Lumacad, Sr., also Navarette’s former trainer. Lumacad acts as chief trainer today of boxers under the Johnny Elorde Stable in Paranaque City in Metro Manila.

“Mario is older than me by a few years but we had chemistry when I was under him. Has the GAB recognized him?” Amistoso asked.
Amistoso credited trainers and coacher like him for the growth of professional boxing in the countryside.

“We produce future champions without the knowledge of people in Metro Manila,” he stressed “It’s because of our love to boxing why we continue to be active until today even if we don’t get a single centavo from the government. We don’t even have any insurance. If we get sick, our family will suffer.”

HIGHEST PURSE

The highest share he received in his 30 years as boxing trainer was P10,000, he said, when his ward, Shoji Sadava, failed in a bid to seize the vacant WBF inter-continental flyweight diadem against Dobrak Artir in Surabaya, Indonesia in 1997.

To eke out a living, Amistoso said he relies only on the “generosity” of public attorney office (PAO) Regional Director Roberto Liberiaga, a boxing enthusiast, who sponsors a monthly amateur boxing card in Molo district where Amistoso acts as the “tournament director” on a P500-per tournament basis.
Amistoso said other trainers in established boxing stables in Metro Manila and Cebu are luckier because their meals are assured three times a day.

He sobbed: “Sa amon ya, kon wala boksing wala man pagkaon eh (In our case, we don’t have anything to eat if there is no boxing.”

The last time Amistoso secured his GAB license as trainer in professional boxing was in 1998 when his boy Nandy Cagayan of Bo. Obrero district lost by technical knockout (TKO) to Gary Ordonez of Malabon City in the “Blow-By-Blow” program in Mandaluyong City, the same promotion that discovered and built the career of Manny Pacquiao.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alex P. Vidal.


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