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The way of a Filipino fighter

(In support to young Filipino boxers)

If there's that great passion which brought the good light of hope to Sarangani and so with all the invaluable honours to the entire Filipino nation, it's simply because of one humble Sarangan who does not even understand before, if what is a potato to French fries.

A man whose unfathomable faith in God, anchored with discipline, perseverance and bulldog tenacity, has had figuratively helped him overcome various tests of time.

On the other hand, why don't we also look into the fate of our poor Filipino boxers who've been duped by illegal recruiters and promoters in other nations? These fighters are set to spell blood if only to earn and eke out a living.

Beyond the stirring chronicle of our world's eight division boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny D. Pacquiao, lays the untold stories of Filipino boxers who ventured their way out of the country in search of a greener pasture.

That was in mid 2007 when I first wrote a story in one of the leading national dailies regarding the miserable death in Thailand of a Filipino fighter from Koronadal City. An excerpt from the heart-rending revelation of a Filipino boxer who happened to escape and survive from the fate of other illegally-recruited Filipino boxers from the land once called as Siam, and later on - Thailand.

And although I failed to keep in touch with the victim's kin, and to focus on the result of the investigation, hopefully my story that was captioned: "The untold story of Angelito Sisnorio's death (Boxers recalls ring tragedy)," somehow served as an eye opener to Filipino boxers who wanted to intrude the unknown horizons.

I was then at the house of former Maasim town Mayor Jojo Lopez Jr. when I met by chance a beleaguered Filipino boxer who, unexpectedly, broke out his silence how his friend and fellow boxer Angelito Sisnorio died in Thailand.

"We were just poor ring fighters in search of a greener pasture, who ended up victims of extreme brutality and manipulation of boxing syndicates in other countries," recalled Michael Collado Rodriguez, who exposed to me his so called ring misfortunes in Thailand.

Rodriguez was among the Filipino boxers who went to Thailand but managed to escape from his illegal recruiters after sensing what was really happening there. "I witnessed how Sisnorio was beaten by 3-K Battery, a Thai boxer with almost the same features as the Thai boxer who lost to Pacquiao. His blood splattered on the ring. It was everywhere, during Angelito's fight with the giant Thai boxer," said a misty eyed Rodriguez.

He said those who suffered most in the hands of foreign boxing promoters was Angelito Sisnorio of Koronadal City, who succumbed to internal bleeding caused by severe beating during a mismatched bout.

Sisnorio died before the eyes of "blood-thirsty" Thai boxing fans and other foreign nationals who yelled with delight every time a Filipino boxer hit the canvas," Rodriguez said.

"After sensing that we were all trapped by a syndicate, I did all my best to escape and fly back to the Philippines using the small amount of money I've earned from boxing," said Rodriguez, adding that "I felt so much pity to myself since I could not move my arms and legs anymore due to severe mauling."

He said, after several fights, he fought two more times before he managed to escape, only two weeks after they reached Thailand."Hindi pa nga nawawala ang pamamaga ng aming mga mukha at katawan ay sinasabak na naman kami muli sa laban. Hindi ako nanalo kahit minsan dahil sa sobrang laki ng aming mga kalaban," said Rodriguez between sobs.

He recalled that Thai promoters who promised them good salaries recruited him and Sisnorio in General Santos City. Rodriguez, who was 25 years old that time and single, said that because of low educational attainment, he had nothing in mind at that moment but how to help his family. He said the promoter's promised to take care of his documents, including everything upon reaching Thailand never did happen. And from that moment, I never saw the said survivor again.

Perhaps Pacquiao's stance was not yet firm as compared to nowadays when both Sisnorio and Rodriguez decided to push for Thailand.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao's political adviser and close buddy Mayor Reynaldo F. Constantino gave recently Malungon boxer Arden Diale the amount of P50, 000 as financial assistance from the local government. The financial assistance will be used for Diale's work out and preparation for his upcoming fights.

Diale, a 22-year old orthodox fighter, lost his first title shot against WBO flyweight champion Julio Cesar "Pingo" Miranda last February 27 at Explanada Estadio Corregidora in Queretaro, Mexico.

Constantino said local officials are up to support Diale (W14-L3-D3) following reports that his defeat against the 30-year old Miranda (W35-L5-D1) stemmed from the lack of financial support, training, preparation and food supplies. Reports said Diale has stunned Miranda when he knocked the latter with a hard right at the opening round. However, the older and well-experienced Miranda over-matched Diale in the next proceeding rounds. Miranda outfought Diale via TKO in the fourth round.

Related reports said Diale is now preparing for an undercard match during the scheduled May 7 MGM Grand Pacquiao-Mosley clash in Las Vegas. Diale will be fighting together with another Sarangan, former WBO flyweight world champion Richie "Magnum" Mepranum who is a scheduled to fight for a rematch against Miranda.

Mepranum of Maasim town, lost his crown to the same Mexican boxer after Miranda stopped him at the 5th round in June 2010 in Puebla City, Mexico.

Constantino believes that the Pacman-supported Sarangani boxers
will be performing good in this most awaited time to rumble.

***** HIT THE MARK *****
By Isagani P.Palma

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