HE DID not expect it but Rodel Mayol said he was not surprised when his opponent cheated during the weigh-in for the WBA flyweight championship in Sonora, Mexico, over the weekend.
He was offered an additional $10,000 to his announced purse of $20,000 to disregard the infraction and go on with the title bout.
Mayol turned it down. “Kanila na lang ang pera nila (They can have their money),” Mayol cried.
Reports said Mayol automatically faced a ban for making a bold stand against one of the biggest evils in prizefighting.
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Mayol said he was aware of the dire consequences.
He just could not stomach the anomaly.
“I talked to Mayol yesterday and he told me he was insulted by the behavior of the officials during the farcical weigh-in,” international boxing correspondent Anthony Andales told the Inquirer from the United States yesterday.
“If my opponent (Tyson Marquez) had shown some remorse for failing to make the weight, I would’ve fought on,” Andales quoted Mayol as saying. “The officials themselves did not even bother to say anything.”
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It was very clear Marquez had cheated, said Mayol, who tipped the scales at exactly 112 pounds.
Marquez was overweight at 114 lb.
He had a couple more tries to make the weight to no avail.
Anyway, the champion returned after three minutes and, to the surprise of Mayol and his handlers, the two excess pounds had instantly melted.
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Coach Nonoy Neri, who ably assists Buboy Fernandez and Freddie Roach in training Manny Pacquiao, made a vehement protest.
Neri pointed to Marquez’s refusal to fully settle on the scales and instead “allowed his feet to hang halfway off the front platform.”
Team Mayol failed to ask for a final weight test.
It was reported that Marquez had grabbed a jug of water and promptly emptied it after his fourth try.
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There were unconfirmed reports Michael Koncz, who acted as Mayol’s manager, himself pulled the fighter out from the title bout.
However, a subsequent report, sent by Dr. Ed De la Vega from California, said Koncz was instrumental in trying to fix the mess by personally pushing the offer of extra $10,000 to Mayol.
The Inquirer has requested Dr. De la Vega to render an official statement.
In place of the title bout, organizers put up Filipino Richie Mepranum, originally set to battle another Mexican in the undercard, against Marquez.
Mepranum lost by unanimous decision in the 10-round substitute nontitle bout.
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“Sa akin OK maski ma-ban at hindi magka-pera (It’s OK even if I get banned and don’t get a single cent),” Mayol later told Anthony Andales.
The dusky, bright-eyed 30-year-old swore all he wanted was to stand for what is right—“Maski walang kuwarta basta tumayo sa tama.”
Mayol, a top protégé a decade ago who went on to capture (and lose) a world title and continues to try for another shot at glory, could indeed be down and out in limbo.
Funny, but he may not be aware of what he just did.
While home fans were not looking, Mayol struck a knife into the heart of the devil in boxing.
Long hidden, it was a noble, courageous shot that’s worthy of elevation to the Boxing Hall of Fame.
Mabuhay ang Filipino!