Pacquiao’s loss- a test of character

As a boxing analyst, I have always maintained that whenever I cover a boxing match, my analysis will only cover skills, style, stamina,training and maybe a little bit about a fighter’s emotional state and drive to win.  I have always said that it was very difficult to comment about anything else as I will not have any direct knowledge about it.

Questions on family matters, other factors aside from boxing that may affect a boxer going into a fight or even the business side of the profession will be hard to answer as I will not have first hand knowledge.

But,  in the case of Pacquiao and Bradley,  i cannot help but comment on how gracefully Pacquiao has accepted the outcome.

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Its Habagat time

Its Habagat time

Philippine Habagat is a  team composed of 11-12 year old boys.  They will represent flag and country in the upcoming 2012 PONY Baseball Asia-Pacific Zone Tournament to be held in Nanjing, China from Jul 15-19, 2012.

The Habagat program is on its second year and will attempt to improve their standing in the tournament.  These boys have been practicing since late last year in preparation for the tournament.  Winner of this tournament will represent the region in the PONY Baseball world series at Monterey California.

The boys who make up the team are as follows:

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Brian Viloria-back on top

My good friend former world champion Gerry Penalosa texted me before the Viloria Romero fight and said ,”Viloria -rsc”.  He predicted a win by the Hawaiian Punch with the referee stopping the fight.

This is short of saying that Viloria is over matched for Romero and the latter will be beaten so badly that the referee will not have a choice but to stop the fight.  The insights of really great boxing legends like Gerry should not be left unheard.  The fight ended exactly as he said it would.

I have been fortunate to have spent enough time with Brian.  He has trained at my club,  Punchout Boxing Club several times in preparation for his fights with Tamara, Solis, and Segura.  I have seen him at his highest as well his lowest.  I was at the ringside during his victories as well as some of his defeats.

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Mayweather Cotto- just a Pacquiao sideshow?

Mayweather is 35 years old, with an unblemished record of 42 wins against some of the biggest names in boxing.

Cotto is 31 years old, a fighter who has been tested many times, and is on the comeback trail with definitive wins against Ricardo Mayorga and his nemesis Antonio Margarito.

Will Cotto be the one to beat the unbeaten Mayweather?

The general belief is that Cotto does not have the skill set to win over the money man.  The speed, agility and fighting style of Mayweather is the perfect anti-Cotto arsenal any boxer can possibly bring to this fight.

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Its Habagat time

Its Habagat time

Last year,  as destiny would have it,  God gave me an opportunity to be involved with baseball again.  I was given the chance to form and coach a team of 11-12 year olds to compete for the country under the PONY Baseball League.

The team was aptly called Philippine Habagat by the 12 young men we recruited.  Little did we know that it would soon be a household name in the local baseball community.  The Habagat team performed way above what was expected of them and this created a level of awareness that led us to decide to continue with the program this year.

In January of 2012  we formed the Philippine Habagat 2012 team again preparing to compete for flag and country in the upcoming ASPAC tournament in China this coming July.    This new team of recruits are out to prove that the achievements of the first Habagat group was not a fluke.

In just over 2 months of once a week practice Habagat 2012 surprised the baseball community once again by performing above par.  They have posted wins against teams that have been together for months and to think Habagat training has just begun.Scoring the Habagat way, one hit a a time

 

People have asked many times what is it about the Habagat training program that makes it successful.   That question is truly difficult to answer.  There are so many reason and aspects of the program that I can site as our point of differentiation, and its really difficult to identify just one.  If I however am pressed to give an answer , I would say it is the desire of the boys who join us that unlocks the value of our training system.  It is their belief that there is a level of expectation from being a Habagat, and that belief builds the burning need to get better.

So this summer,  our program has officially begun.  its once again, Habagat time.

Its Habagat time

 

 

Marvelous Marvin Sonsona- Is he the next Pacquiao?

Marvelous Marvin Sonsona- Is he the next Pacquiao?

Several weeks ago, I flew to Cebu to cover the fight of our very own Marvin Sonsona.   Many still believe that this young Filipino has the talent and skill to come back and take his rightful place in boxing history-after winning his first world championship belt at age 19, many still believe that despite his not so impressive showing after losing the belt, he may still have what it takes.

I covered the fight with my friend Dennis Principe and saw Sonsana score a KO win over game Carlos Fulgencio.  Fulgencio is not a pushover and has the numbers to show it.

The spotlight was however on the native of General Santos.  He did win the fight but to most, it still wasnt the same Sonsona they saw several years ago.

The same questions remain.  Does Marvin have the desire to go all the way?  Will he back this up by commitment and discipline as all boxing greats shown are the keys to winning in this game?

We at ringside continue to hope for the best for Sonsona.  We await the time that he once again can be rightfully described as marvelous.

 

Health, Sports and nearing 50

Haha. I remember when I started to first write professionally, one of the first articles that got published was entitled, “Fit at Forty”. If I remember I was a few years away from that milestone year and I wrote about my decision to take control of my life particularly my health.

Several years after, now that I am nearing the Golden Year of 50, I thank the Lord for giving me the wisdom to have done so.
Early this year, I had my annual medical check up complete with all the necessary tests required for a man my age. Everything was normal give or take a few points here and there.
More importantly, I feel as strong as i did when first wrote my first article. Let me see, for the past 7 days, I have gone to box twice, worked out my legs and chest on two separate occassions, played a slowpitch softball game and coached and trained a Philippine Baseball 12 and under team.

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Pacquiao foes

Its really quite difficult to accept any other boxer to be facing Manny Pacquiao while Floyd Mayweather refuses to accept the challenge. For close to three years it has been about the money, the venue, the drug testing issues. Both men have put offers on the table that the other has refused.
In the end, after all has been said and done, if this does not push through, they will both lose…. their rightful place in history.
Its a pity that the fear of losing clearly is one reason Mayweather has refused to budge. Having this fight ensures their rightful place in the annals of boxing history. Frazier, although he lost to Ali is regarded as one of the best heavyweights ever. Same goes for Duran after that embarassing lose to Leonard, Larry Holmes after being floored by Tyson, or Hearns after he was demolished by Hagler. All, even after losing , has claimed their places. They are all well respected and revered just because

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they accepted those fights.
I do hope, these two finally meet up, if only for their sake.

Pinoy boxing in 2012

There are obvious Filipino boxers whose names will be talked about in 2012.  Manny Pacquiao by the looks of it will fight at least 2x in the year.  Nonito Donaire is starting early this year and if all is well should have at least 3 interesting match ups.  Brian Viloria is scheduled for another defense of his title in April and because he is now once again a hot commodity, and any of his fights this year will always be a potential fight of the year candidate.

However we must continue to introduce new names into the pipeline to ensure the presence of Pinoy fighters amongst boxing elites.

Of course Boom Boom Bautista and Abe Concepcion’s hopes continue to be kept alive as they are still able to get fights here and abroad.  Gerry Penalosa’s wards Mike Farenas and his nephew Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr.  may also come up in the rankings if given good opportunities.

Let us not forget Drian Francisco, Al Sabaupan and Roberto Gonzales all or whom are just in the wings waiting for that one big shot.

Michael Domingo, Donnie Nietes, Denver Cuello all too familiar boxers who we all are just waiting for as they prepare for the big time.

If all goes well and good match ups are arranged, Filipino boxers should continue to cement their presence in world boxing rankings.

The simple joys of life

I just thought of writing a little bit at this time.

I am at home seated at what we call the “boy’s area”. My family is inside the house doing some last minute wrapping.  Its such a wonderful feeling just to know that they are safe and well provided for.

Tje boy’s area is where the grill is located.  I conveniently place a pool table( you know, the Filipino version of billards- same rules using round wooden pieces instead of balls) and a dart board.  In the same area is a small refrigerator filled with various drinks.

When we building our home, the boy’s area  was the only part of our house that I made sure my concept was to be followed.  It was to me where I will be having “barkadas” come and relax.

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