Good boxing news and bad
He was more than welcome, but Manny Pacquiao was nevertheless reported to have gate-crashed the PSA Awards Night at the Manila Hotel on Saturday.
The Pacman, as could only be expected, became the core of the celebration, radiating, lighting up the floor with his kind, humble ways.
He did not proceed to where he properly belonged, the center stage, but preferred to be seated with other guests, headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, a budding sportsman.
There was no significant report on what he did or said at the Manila Hotel.
The good news came Monday, a little late.
Veteran sportswriter Frank Calapre said Pacquiao has vowed to push for the creation of a national boxing commission.
The commission, once established, will be tasked to protect the welfare of professional boxers, the report said.
Pacquiao, in a team-up with Sen. Koko Pimentel, will craft a bill with the help of other lawmakers “who will help form the ideal rules and regulations for the well-being of Filipino fighters.”
Sen. Pimentel, from what we know, was also in that House body which conducted a probe on the boxing tragedy that claimed the life of the talented, unbeaten Karlo Maquinto late in January.
So whatever happened to that probe? asked California-based Dr. Ed dela Vega, who has been providing Pacquiao’s mouthpiece through the years.
None that we’ve heard or know of, sir.
Actually, the bad news was the inaction of national officials, headed by President Noynoy Aquino, on the recommendation, well-received, to require aspirant boxers to be equipped with sound defensive basics before they are allowed to take out their professional license.
Pacquiao should be more resolute in pushing for reforms in order to save Filipino boxers from fatal mistakes.
But, as this would take time, granting that Pacquiao works honestly for the creation of the boxing commission, the President, we repeat, is in the best position to immediately provide remedies to the lurking danger perennially hounding majority of aspirant Filipino fighters.
One simple order to the Games and Amusements Board and credible volunteer experts, complete with facilities, would be there to help and provide solutions.
Anyway, here’s another good boxing news, from the able and sharp-eyed chronicler, Jingo Quijano:
“Last Saturday, the stars aligned their preternatural glow just right for one Pinoy pug who was able to pull out one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing memory. Hail Sonny Boy Jaro, conqueror of the legendary Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. A veteran of 83 wins (44 KOs) and 3 losses, Wonjongkam is a skilled southpaw with a solid chin who ruled WBC flyweight waters for more than a decade. In contrast Sonny came to the fight with a pedantic 33-10 record (with 23 KOs).”
Prior to his long-shot try against Wonjongkam, Jaro had failed at least two times in gunning for a world crown.
But it was a totally new crown bidder, who beat the Thai legend on Saturday.
He sent Wonjongkam down 20 seconds into the first round.
Continued Quijano: “The Thai champ tried with counters in the second and third, but Jaro held his own. His superior strength was a factor as he would walk through Wonjongkam’s best shots, while delivering punishment that had the Thai wobbly on several occasions … After Jaro was deducted a point for low blow, this only served to stoke the fire.”
Jaro battered and stopped the fabulous Thai toy bulldog for good in the sixth round. It was the first time Wonjongkam, who stole the world flyweight title crown from Malcolm Tuñacao right in the first round 10 years ago, had been knocked out.
There’s actually another bright boxing news, involving national amateur standout Charly Suarez, a London Olympic hopeful who also scored a major upset in the World Series of Boxing held over the weekend in India.
We’ll share the sparkling details in our next column.