GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 May) – With apologies to both Manny Piñol and Recah Trinidad, recent knockout victim Lorenzo Villanueva is not going anywhere. He can’t be genuine world boxing champion let alone a durable one.
I have seen tapes of Villanueva’s fights and was lucky enough to be at the ringside in one of his fights. No doubt, he packs a lot of power. Beyond that, he is below average. He sorely lacks defense. Stamina is virtually non-existent. He is flat-footed. A one-dimensional fighter as he can get. Undisciplined inside the ring. And at 26, he is no longer a spring chicken.
His story as a breadwinner who solely relies on earnings from boxing is a good copy. One that is heart-rending. But boxing is a cruel sport. You have to be able to absorb the heaviest punches as well as you can dish them out.
In a sport where longevity is measured by your skills and power and a little bit of luck, Villanueva is nowhere near the elite class.
His record may still be an excellent one despite his crushing defeat to Indonesian Daud Cino Yordan Saturday. But frankly, I believed he was thrust into the lion’s den too much too soon or rather too late at his age given his skills set.
I, however, tip my hat to Manny Piñol for developing a stable of boxers under his Braveheart Promotions. He has a good stable of fine young talents with incredible potentials. Villanueva may not be one of them, his boxing record notwithstanding.
I may be wrong but how I wish I am.
I empathize with the former Cotabato governor, too. There is a dearth of boxing promoters in Mindanao who are willing to gamble good money to have quality boxing cards despite the fact that some of our current world boxing champions and rated boxers are from the island.
Many boxing promoters and managers are forced to give up their promising wards to foreign promoters who can land them the big fights. Former Gov. Piñol himself has given up some of his boxers due to prohibitive costs of training and maintaining a stable of boxers.
Without regular boxing event in the provinces, boxing fans will be content on watching replays and live feeds on TV and cable.
Without a big fan base for live boxing, promoters and boxing managers have to go elsewhere if they cannot stomach being fed by trial horses and bum opponents for their prospects. Once these young talents go elsewhere, they begin to realize that the outside world is far crueler and that they need more than a bit of luck to succeed.
I can run you a list of young talents from Mindanao who failed to make it big time in the international scene precisely because of the lack of quality fights while they are beginning to climb up the ladder. But of course I might be unfair to them. (Edwin G. Espejo writes for www.asiancorrespondent.com)