Me and boxing sport
By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.
WHY am I so addicted to and passionate about the sport of boxing? Perhaps it’s because of the Mexican genes in me.
Yes, like the Mexican hombres whom I met and talked to like my brothers and cousins (father side), boxing is their number two favorite sport, after football. No wonder most of Manny Pacquiao’s opponents were Mexicans like Marquez, Barrera, Erik Morales, Jorge Solis, David Diaz, Oscar Larios, Antonio Margarito, Oscar dela Hoya, Brandon Rios, to name some. Ditto to current Filipino world champions Donnie Nietes, Milan Melindo, Jerwin Ancajas, and to former world titleholders Nonito Donaire, Brian Viloria, Johnriel Casimero, ditto to our fast rising starts Arthur Villanueva, Mark Magsayo, Jeo Santisima and the Pagara siblings Jason and Albert that many say are potential world champions. Most of their foes were Chicanos.
If I have the means, I don’t have to think twice whether I should fly to the venue and watch a boxing world title match or not. I started doing this in November 2006 when I watched the WBO (World Boxing Organization) world featherweight title fight between then defending champion Marquez and Filipino slugger Jimrex Jaca held at Dodge Arena in Hidalgo, Texas (just fifteen minutes drive from my father’s place, Pharr). As expected, Marquez knocked out Cebuano Jaca in that fight to the delight of the Mexican spectators including my Mexican hermanos Rolando and Rogelio and my first-cousin Dagoberto Garcia Soto. Before the fight, I got a chance to interview Marquez about his chances of beating Jaca and he predicted he’d stop the guy. And he did on the ninth round. I even called media colleague Jun Velasco to talk to Marquez who was kind to oblige. They talked in halting English mixed with Spanish lingo and heard Marquez kept on saying that he beat Pacquiao during their first encounter which resulted in a draw verdict.
I also watched the numerous successful world title fights of then light flyweight king Nietes held at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City as well as some world flyweight title fights of Brian Viloria in Pasig City and then world contender Melindo also in Cebu City. Fortunately, Melindo is now the newly IBF (International Boxing Federation) light flyweight champ after three tries wresting the title from Japanese Akira Yaegashi via astounding first round knockout held recently.
I was in Cebu City again last July 9 and watched the Pinoy Pride 41 with my cycling contemporary Joe Deresas of Cebu City. We saw how our three world rated prized fighters Joe “Santino” Santisima, “The Prince” Albert Pagara and Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo demolished all their opponents via sensational knockouts to the riotous response of the hometown crowd jam-packed at the newly constructed International Entertainment Center. Noteworthy was Magsayo’s successful defense of his WBO featherweight international belt.
I was ticketed again for another trip to Cebu City to watch the Pinoy Pride 42 on September 16, to observe how Melindo will defend his crown for the first time. ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer said this time the ring rumble will return to Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
This time my three children led by Jazy, Moses and Californian Jereza will join me. See you there.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. JAMES 4: 10