Bye-bye, Boom Boom

Last December, it was Pacquiao. Last April 6, it was Viloria. The other weekend, it was Donaire. And, last Sunday, it was Boom Boom. Thus far, of world champs and of world-champ-wannabees, it’s been loss after loss for the Pinoys.

We know boxing — like chess or fencing — is one-on-one. Of the two gladiators inside the ring, excluding the unwated “tie” (tabla), one will win, another will lose.

Bautista? The winner of his first 23 fights, we thought Candijay, Bohol would produce its first ever world titlist in Rey. But, no. After that Marquez-on-Pacquiao-like knockout by Daniel Ponce de Leon in August of 2007, the sound of Boom Boom’s punches hasn’t been Boom-bastic.

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Should he or shouldn’t he? This “retirement” question has been answered.

Boom Boom is still young. He’ll turn 27 on June 19. His record has been impressive: After a 23-0 start, he loses to De Leon but recovers to win his next three bouts. After another loss (to Heriberto Ruiz), he rises once more to win eight straight prior to last Sunday’s fall in Davao.

Overall, his record of 34 wins (25 via knockout) and three losses (a 92 percent win-loss percentage) is sterling.

Still, a loss is a loss. And, it seems, this adage holds true for Bautista: “You’re only as good as your last performance.”

Michael Pastrano Aldeguer, the president of ALA Promotions, has spoken: “We may have seen the last of ‘Boom-Boom’ Bautista. Why should he be punished more? There’s no point. Even if he had won the fight I would still tell him to retire.”

Concern. Empathy. Good health.

ALA, the Father, Antonio Lopez Aldeguer, the man who started the most respected boxing stable in the Philippines back in 1985 — he considers his boxers like his children. I’ve known him for over two decades. I’ve known Michael since high school. The primary concern of father-and-son is — always, always — good health.

The last thing they want is another Z Gorres incident. (Weeks after Z had recovered from that near-fatal experience in 2009, Mr. Aldeguer told me that those were some of the most harrowing moments of his life.)

With Boom Boom, as Michael explains: What for? Boxing, let’s remember, is no gymnastics or ballet. Boxing is a brutal, rib-breaking, jaw-collapsing, mind-bleeding sport.

Prior to last Sunday, Boom Boom planned to be a world champion. Now, he has succumbed to these words said by Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Still, there’s no shame in retirement for Boom Boom. His legacy is implanted in our Cebuano minds. He is one of the most famous — and entertaining — boxers that Cebu has cultivated. Donnie Nietes is the WBO Light Flyweight world champ but, if you ask any passerby from Colon to Waterfront Hotel who they recognize more, the answer comes in two resounding words: Boom Boom.

You’ve inspired many. You’ve excited many. Time to hang up the gloves, Rey.

JUDGING. I’m glad Bautista “lost.” By glad, I mean I’m happy that two judges correctly saw the fight and fairly awarded the win to Jose Ramirez of Mexico. I saw the replay on ABS-CBN and nobody would doubt the loss of Bautista. Kudos to Salven Lagumbay and Danrex Tapdasan for scoring the fight, 114-111. Imagine the ruckus inside the University of Southeastern Philippines gym if Boom Boom won?

MACAU. Is it true that Pacman will fight this October? In Macau? If so, this is the perfect chance for us to watch.

Las Vegas, Nevada is a million and six meters away from Mactan. Not Macau. There are direct flights from Manila. Or, a short 2.5 hour trip from MCIAA to Hong Kong and a quick one-hour fast-craft trek to Macau… then it’s “Ready to rumble….”

This might be Manny’s last fight. Seven years older than Boom Boom and twice a loser in his last two fights, Pacman will retire soon. If it’s in the Las Vegas of Asia, let’s go!

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