ONE champion Brandon Vera nothing but grateful to Filipino fans: I owe you more than a smile
ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera is nothing but grateful for the Philippines, which has given him a new perspective about his already-illustrious career.
Establishing his roots in the country two years ago, Vera, 41, has been embraced by Filipino fight fans wholeheartedly even at the tailend of his career.
“Broken down in its simplest form, I have so much to be thankful for about the Philippines, said the Fil-American champion in Filipino Tuesday during the ONE: Conquest of Champions press conference at City of Dreams Manila.
Vera, who is making his second title defense of the heavyweight title against Italian bet Mauro Cerilli, said that the support of Filipino fans made him understand hardwork better.
“Before I moved to the Philippines, being a champion was just a cool thought. I figured was something attainable even if I didn’t really work hard at it. I didn’t understand all of this until I moved to the Philippines. Kasalanan nyo,” he said with a smile.
“I used to only work 1-2 times a week, I promise. Kita niyo mataba pa ako nun. I was never really in shape like I’m supposed to. Pero dito, sa mga mukha nyo, on your smiles, naisip ko, [expletive] I owe you more than a smile.”
Vera, who has also taken up acting in Philippines starring in the highly-acclaimed “Buy Bust,” had to stay in shape while doing the grind of a filming a movie.
“I came here, we started filming a movie. Showbiz here is hard. 14-18 hour shoots. Locations, sometimes di ka na uuwi. But showing up here, moving here, dealing with traffic and location sets and entertainment world and the grind, now naiintindihan ko na [what it takes].”
With Vera out of the cage for two years, ONE Championship could not have made his return harder against Cerilli, who has won all but one of his five fights by way of knockouts.
“To come back is already scary, then for them to find this monster. Parang ‘okay, welcome back, ito yung kalaban mo. Game ka?’ Sabi ko, subukan natin,” said Vera.
But the charismatic fighter assures that he’s nothing but ready to grind it out in the ring.
“I work out every damn day, I train twice a day. From a 48-hours shoot, uwi muna ako, then training. So am I ready to be in the center of that ring? Hell yes.”