Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ana "the hurricane" Julaton

Almost a year ago, sometime in March 2007, my boxing classmates and local SF boxing fans enjoyed many rounds of fighting bouts at the Bill Graham Civic Center Auditorium during the SF Championships, where local fighters showcased their skills of punch and dexterity. There were a few girlfighters, but the most impressionable fight was one where a young Filipina boxer glided like a butterfly and stung venomous strikes. She won the match, her name was Ana "the Hurricane" Julaton.

Who would have known, a year later, one of us striked a pose with "the Hurricane" at last Wednesday's Pacman Media day? Double treat, double boxing stars, from the land of my birth.

Where is Espinosa?

I knew who "Espinosa" was [is} especially during our boxer's training at 3rd Street Boxing Gym. I see him train there and coach .. just like anyone.

Until my classmate Isreal told me about Espinosa's past. Net-net, he seemed to be a victim of PR and bad mgmt.

While cognizant of Espinosa's plight, myself, Israel and certain friends wonder .. what gives? Why was Pacman productized as expected, and others not?

A silly question for those metaphysic thinkers..

Why Pacman and not Espinosa ( during his times? )

Can Espinosa help now?

Pacman's Blog

Manny Pacman updated his blog at the Philippine Boxing blogsite after today's Meet the Press event in San Francisco.

Later on, Isreal, our boxing classmate, emailed me to request for an English translation of his predominantly Tagalog blog. When I read the original text, I was more than honored to translate his thoughts. More than being a boxer, my heart throbbed as I read, in Tagalog text, his last paragraph, in his attempt to reconcile and unite (in a Garibaldi and Vittore Emmanuele fashion) the very disparate Filipino people. Hence, I indulged. And the following is my humble translation from our mother tongue.

Allora, Pacman ... in contriamo nel centro!

The following is an attempt to translate the gist and content of Pacman's experience, today in San Francisco.

English Text Translation:

I am just fine, happy and healthy in body and mind; while I am excited to courageously face the fight on March 15 in Las Vegas.

I have just returned from a media day in San Francisco this Wednesday. I was very happy to return to the place where I have first achieved my first victory in America.

There were multitudes of people that welcomed me which included the media, boxing fans and friend. I could not fathom how seven years have passed since the first time I have set foot in America. I remembered how young and impressionable I was, full of hope and dreams. In those early years in America I was an unknown boxer as most of my success in boxing occurred in Asia. Today, all I can say is: I love San Francisco.

It is beautiful to remember the past. As an old adage goes, a person who is unable to acknowledge his past will be unable to reach his goal and destination. [ This is the closest English translation to a Tagalog adage originally penned by the original Philippine pride and National hero, our very own renaissance man of the late 1800s, Dr. Jose Rizal, among many socio-cultural, political and wise thoughts he has left for us peoples to inherit post-Execution in Bagumbayan Field. The attempt of Pacman to quote a classic Filipino intelligentsia mirrors his sincere yet traditional soulful being- Filipino-nes, if you will. ]

I believe in the above mentioned Filipino adage hence I have not changed in my approach in dealing with people, with humanity, even if at certain times, I have been deceived and cheated, perhaps resulting from my own naive state.

Last May 2001, my manager, Rod Nazario, and I journeyed into America in order to face my destiny that was about to unfold in the coming future. In San Francisco, our airplane touched down, where we were hospitably accommodated by Kuya Boying, Rod's son.

By the roadside I would perform my morning run, all by myself. During those times, I was on my own, without a trainer and coach or companion to guide me in endeavors. I did not have a boxing fan base since my fights were not yet featured in American television. While in search for the best trainer in Los Angeles, the ultimate event that had to occur has happened: my path has crossed with Freddie Roach. The meeting culminated in the biggest break in my boxing career: I was included as an undercard in the Oscar De La Hoya vs Javier Castillejo bout, as a pay-per-view event.

In only two weeks to the event, we unhesitatingly accepted the challenge to fight against the informidable IBF super bantamweight division champion: Lehlohonolo Ledwaba of South Africa. During my training with Freddie Roach, I was also supported by "Tatay" Ben Delgado and cutman Ruben Gomez. Many have forewarned me that it would be a tough challenge against the South African as many priors have refused to fight him. I was the last-minute opponent as the original fighter backed out. In retrospect, I have realized how far I have reached since that first fight in June 23, 2001 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

In the upcoming fight in Las Vegas against Juan Manuel Marquez, that impressionable and perhaps naive juventus (young boy) will be ready to fight, this time, without fear and with all might and fury (walang takot kumakasa kahit kanino - [ walang pakundangan! ]). The juventus who stemmed from a humble flyweight (112 lbs) division beginnings is now pushing 130 pounds. A certain esteemed journalist from Manila has mentioned that I may potentially encounter an issue when I reach 130 lbs. He further mentioned that I am actually closed to 138.5 lbs as of last Sunday, based upon his source who allegedly lurks in my pad [ a mole? ].

I would only wish to send a message to this esteemed writer, that he should not believe hearsay that is unfounded by empirical evidence. I have been involved in the trade of boxing for many years, and there is no one, but myself, who is capable of assessing the certitude of my being, as a boxer in mind and body. I would implore the public to disregard hearsay vis a vis the weight issue as everything is under control, no problem! Perhaps it would be safe to deduce that the journalist has propagated a lie, since I have not weighed myself last Sunday. [doh]

Oh well, people! [ FYI - this is a very Filipino expression, almost like a gesture of helplessness over a hopeless situation; I believe this *sigh* stems from a Latin gesticulation, reminding me of Romans with their hands while sigh'ing ... eh, Bo!"]

I hope that we will all be united and together we pray for our success for each other. I hope that we avoid the "crab mentality" so that we can, as a people, progress as ...


Until the next "Kumbinasyon" blog! God Bless.

Signed Gloves

My homeboy with his signed Pacman Gloves

A Pacman Moment

Of course, with his homeboy, Boboy!

Titanium Founder

Kudos to Simon Redmond (to-the-right, to-the-right), founder and partner of Titanium Boxing Gym for "Pacman" memorable event. To-the-left, to-the-left, is yet another US champ, our charming 3rd Street Boxing Gym instructor, Paris.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Local Boxers and Pacman

I may not have made it to the lunch hour event ( saddest day in my Cinderella life), I'm still ecstatic, my boxing classmates enjoyed each moment for me and the rest who were in absentia.

Sfboxing .. Represent!

Pacman meets SF Press

Impressionable turnout in this Wednesday's press boxing day where Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and his legendary trainer, Freddie Roach meets the San Francisco press, boxing fans and friends at a very cool and down-to-earth San Francisco boxing gym: the Titanium Training Center.

Prior to the "Meet the Press, Fans and SF city 'call-in-sick-guys' ", the 130 lbs Philippine hero worked out a sweat in the ring. How cool is that?

Manny Pacman .. in the house !

Manny Pacman in the heart of the SF Bay Area!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Meet Pacman at Titanium

This coming week, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao will meet the press at San Francisco's very own Titanium Training Center in an effort to promote his upcoming match against Marquez on March 15, 2008 at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay.

What: Pacman meets the Press at Titanium

Where: Titanium Training Center :: 1436 Polk St near California

When: Wednesday : February 27, 2008

Time: 12:30pm

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pavlik v Taylor

HBO Fight nights occasionally give us local boxing students and fans an excuse to gather around amidst friends, food, wine and Pay-per-view.

Boxing house parties are more intimate and adhoc. Unlike live fights where I am personally drawn into the action, blow-by-blow, fight nights are chill-out events that give me an excuse to indulge in the fruits of the vine. Little Rock, Arkansas' Jermaine Taylor gave us a good show in a North Beach pad, as most enjoyed the fight, while I chattered away through the night with a glass of red at hand.

Charlie's Fighters

It was a great year in my world of SF boxing. Fighters both Nick and Shawna both dedicated to the art and science of the sport, pose with our beloved coach, instructor, and friend, Carlos "Charlie" Castillo.

USA Boxing @ USF's Koret

Earlier this month my alumnus, University of San Francisco, hosted the USA Boxing Championship at the Koret Recreation Center's Hagan Gym
. It was unfortunate that I missed the all-weekend sporting event. I was looking forward to support Shawna Harris, who was scheduled to fight. Yet, to her dismay, the club was unable to find a girl-fighter opponent within the same weight class and/or category, she brought home the trophy by default. :: shawna.harris