Category Archives: Boxing

LA or Cebu? Pacman better off in…..

Nine days from today, all 91 million Filipinos scattered around the globe will sit around TV screens, clap, stomp their feet, pray, and stare at the muscled sight of a hero who’ll aim to finish his “Unfinished Business.”

From Davao to Baguio to Ormoc—and in every municipality housed by our 7,107 islands—cars will park, businesses will open late, churches saying mass at 11 a.m. will experience a 75 percent drop in attendance—all our countrymen rooting for RP’s most revered sportsman in history.

Is Manny Pacquiao prepared? He is. From all my readings on next Sunday’s fight, Pacman is more disciplined; he’s hardened, sharpened, ready to hammer away with his fists.

So I ask: Which prepared Manny better, training in Cebu or in Los Angeles? We’ll find out next week but, this early, my gut feel says Pacquiao is better off staying in Hollywood. Why? Continue reading LA or Cebu? Pacman better off in…..

Atty. Jingo Quijano

With Freddie Roach

One of the top boxing scribes in the country is also one of the top lawyers in this city. I’m referring to my “neighbor” in Sun.Star Cebu, the man I sit beside often when we watch local boxing fights, and the writer who just “cornered” Z Gorres and penned an excellent interview/article on the fighter we’ll see this Saturday. Read Atty. Jingo Quijano’s excellent piece in Sun.Star Cebu today… it’s aptly-titled “AYE TO Z.”

Z vs. V: Who’ll be put to Zzzzz’s in this fight?

Last Sunday morning at the Casino Español de Cebu, I chanced upon meeting Michael Aldeguer. I’ve known Michael since high school—we played basketball against each other; he donned the Sacred Heart uniform while I wore the CIS jersey—and, when we talk of sports and boxing and the NBA, he’s one of the most impassioned and enthusiastic of men. Mike and I sat down for a few minutes to talk about—of course—this Saturday night’s blockbuster named “Now Or Never.”

“This fight is generating a lot of excitement,” I told Mike. “Probably even more than the one of Gorres and Montiel. And considering that in that fight (last year at the Cebu City Sports Center), Boom-Boom fought.”

“You think so?” Mike replied. When Mike asked why, I mentioned that the key component in all this hysteria can be summed up in one word: DARCHINYAN. Because while Montiel last year was the WBO super flyweight champion when he fought Z, he wasn’t known. I, for one, had not known of the Mexican until I saw the posters promoting “The Moment of Truth.”

(Photo by Joe Miranda)

Darchinyan? He needs no introduction. We must have read his name and seen his video footages, what, 127 times. The reason? Because of a Filipino-American named Nonito Donaire who knocked him out in the fifth round last July 7—for his first-ever defeat. And more than that, we also know Vic Darchinyan to be “The Raging Bull.” Prior to his Donaire upset, he won all 29 pro fights (with 23 KO’s). So the Cebuanos know that this, quite possibly, will be one of the best-ever fights we’ve seen on home soil.

Z Gorres? “He’s very, very excited,” said Michael. “In fact, when we asked him months back whom he wanted to face, he really asked for Darchinyan. So this, I think, is the perfect match-up.”

(Photo from

Where’s the fight? At the Waterfront Lahug. I really enjoy watching fights there. I recall accompanying my father-in-law Jack Mendez there a few times. You’re seated on foam chairs, there’s no chance of rain falling, the room is cold, and the boxing is hot. What more can you ask?

Trust me: This Saturday is a fight you should NEVER miss. And if you still haven’t bought tickets, here’s another tip: but them NOW.

Boom! Flash! Boxing exams answered today

Donaire (2nd from right) with (from right) Cholo Verches, Oliver Ko and Ed Dingal

He’s handsome, single, turned 25 years old when he celebrated his birthday in Cebu last Nov. 16, he’s world-famous, makes ladies swoon when they stare at his shiny left-ear stud, he weighs only 111 lbs. but can wrestle a 245-lb. gorilla, was born in Gen. Santos City—where his idol, whom you probably know, lives in a mansion today—but moved to California when he was eight years old, he’s met countless of celebrities before but recalls his meeting with President GMA as “an overwhelming feeling… indescribable.. a great honor,” and, best of all, he’s someone you’ll see on TV this morning.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. No kidding. Yes, if you watch the news, you’ll see the embattled senator. But, if you stay longer and watch TV the whole morning, you’ll see another type of fighter. One who, like Trillanes, also claims to “fight for his country.”

Nonito Donaire, Jr. No kidding: If you don’t watch long enough, you might not see Donaire. You see, his strength is his speed: “I can run one oval, the 400 meters, in 50-plus seconds,” he told me a few weeks back. That’s blistering fast. No wonder he’s called the “Filipino Flash.” Continue reading Boom! Flash! Boxing exams answered today

‘The Filipino Flash’ is ready

Donaire (right) with my “boss”… Sun.Star Cebu acting Sports Editor Mike Limpag

From Sun.Star Cebu, this story today: “NONITO “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, the Inter-natinal Boxing Federation and International Boxing Organization flyweight champion, will defend his title against the Mexican Luis Maldonado in 12 rounds of boxing tomorrow at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Continue reading ‘The Filipino Flash’ is ready

This Sunday, wake up at 5 a.m. and run!

If you own a pair of jogging shoes, get them washed, ready, laced up. This Sunday, two events are running side-by-side: the M.O.V.E. 5-K Run and the 2nd Seminary Fund Run. But what sets these races apart from the rest is they’re not only about crossing the finish line—they’re runs “for a cause.”

Let me explain. When you join the M.O.V.E. Run to start at 6 a.m. at the Capitol grounds, you’ll be helping not just yourself with exercise—but also those Persons With Disabilities (PWD’s). Continue reading This Sunday, wake up at 5 a.m. and run!

Nonito Donaire

Had dinner last night with the reigning IBF and IBO Flyweight world boxing champion… Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. Great guy. Really funny. Easy to talk with. No airs. Speaks Bisaya. His dad, Nonito, Sr., is just like the son… another very likeable guy. We were at Mooon Cafe, a Mexican-themed restaurant in Guadalupe, Cebu that my family recently purchased. Enjoy our photos…

The Donaires (seated) with (from left) Atty. Jingo Quijano, John Pages, Mike Limpag, Gerry Malixi, Dong Secuya, Manny Villaruel, Salven Lagumbay and friends Continue reading Nonito Donaire

My favorite RP sports website?

Each morning after exercise, I flip open my laptop, click on the Safari web browser, and visit websites all lumped under the same theme: Sports.

I visit about two dozen. CNNSI. Fox Sports. MSNBC. I read about whether Roger Federer has lost to David Nalbandian again (he has, twice). I await the fresh arrival of columns penned by my favorite scribe, Mitch Albom. I search for news about marathons—and yesterday, gazed at the sight of a bra-less Katie Holmes at the New York City Marathon.

Here in the Philippines, is there one website that stands tallest? Yes. And, best of all, it’s Made In Cebu…. PHILBOXING. Continue reading My favorite RP sports website?

Boom-Boom as tough as Pacquiao? Let’s see…

When Daniel Ponce de Leon dismantled and pulverized an explosive firecracker named Boom-Boom in a first-round KO last August 11, he didn’t just flatten Rey Bautista—he devastated him, humiliated his ego, extinguished his spirit. So much trauma ravaged the previously-undefeated Boholano that when he landed from a half-day-long flight from America to Manila, Boom-Boom sat terrified. Upon his arrival at NAIA—with his fellow boxers who just steamrolled past Mexico, 5-1, to clinch the “World Cup of Boxing”—Bautista didn’t want to step out the tarmac and face the crowd.

Daniel Ponce De Leon

“Boom-Boom was embarrassed,” said Antonio Lopez Aldeguer. “As team captain, he knew that he let his teammates down, that he let the country down… he was ashamed.”

But while Bautista emerged with his head bent down, the crowd acted otherwise. “They gathered around and cheered him,” said Aldeguer, “more than all the other boxers combined.”

Still, that wasn’t enough to uplift Boom-Boom. When he arrived in Cebu, again he longed not to face the faces of his sparring mates at the ALA Gym.

Next, when they landed in Bohol, added Aldeguer, “that was the worst.” Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Neri Lim organized a motorcade along the streets and, while AJ Banal and Edito Villamor stood at the back of the pickup vehicle and waved to spectators, Boom-Boom hid himself. He stayed inside, behind the cover of tinted glass windows. Continue reading Boom-Boom as tough as Pacquiao? Let’s see…

Manny and Gerry

Manny and Gerry… that’s Jingo Quijano and me at the back

Last Monday (August 20), two world boxing champions sat beside each other. Manny Pacquiao and Gerry Penalosa. The venue was at the Cebu City Marriot Hotel and the press were invited to listen to the thoughts of these two RP heroes. One just arrived home from America smiling and bringing to Cebu the world title belt. The other will be heading for America, hopefully to smile and bring home his own world title belt. Congratulations to Gerry! Good luck to Manny!


With Cebu City Councilor Jack Jakosalem 

Two plus one: with former champ Dodie Boy Penalosa

Antonio Lopez Aldeguer and his A-Team


Michael Domingo (center) with Mayor Jonas Cortes (right) and City Administrator Briccio Boholst

They call him ALA. Pronounced just like the God of our Muslim friends, he’s the Lord of Cebu Boxing. He hails from Iloilo, studied in La Salle Bacolod, built his business empire in Cebu, transformed it into a Philippine conglomerate and, when we speak of the sport named Boxing, he’s conquered Earth.

Antonio Lopez Aldeguer. Is there a sportsman more befitting the title, “Cebuano Great?” He is. Over a span of two decades or more, he has developed and housed and nurtured dozens, hundreds, thousands of athletes with red gloves on their bare knuckles.

Talk about sports tourism? He has done more for Cebu than any other. Last Sunday’s World Cup? Mexico versus Philippines? That wasn’t Mexico vs. RP. That was Mexico versus….. Cebu! For except for Diosdado Gabi, weren’t all the five ring artists sculptured here in our hometown?

Boxing is at its peak today. No less than Oscar de la Hoya is flying to Malacañang—and maybe, to Cebu—to pay homage. Thanks to one man whose passion, generosity, vision and selflessness are as rib-breaking as that left hook of Gerry Penalosa.

ALA, as we stand and applaud, take a bow. Continue reading Antonio Lopez Aldeguer and his A-Team

The $500,000 World Cup

Did you know that the “World Cup,” the trophy that the Philippines won against Mexico when we beat them 5-1 last Sunday, is all-gold and littered with diamonds? And, that it’s worth P23 million? I held it for a few seconds while Dong Secuya took some photos and… it’s heavy! It should be, if it’s all gold and sparkling diamonds. Bobby Inoferio (above photo), a man I love talking to because he’s so entertaining and full of energy, is all smiles with the World Cup. And so is Joan Danao (one of the top honchos at the Marriot Hotel, shown below with the Marriot staff).

ALA Boys back with the World Cup

AJ Banal

Last night, a Wednesday evening, I was at the Marriot Hotel from 9:30 until 12 midnight. The ballroom was jampacked. Cameras clicked. Eyes enlarged at the sight of the men seated on the Presidential Table. Their names? Boom-Boom. AJ. Michael Domingo. Z. You know them. Watched them last Sunday. They arrived just yesterday from the U.S. and, after a few hours of speaking with the Manila press, they flew back home… to Cebu. It was a gathering with the press. Boom-Boom was honest in defeat. The others jubilant in victory. Enjoy these photos…

Boom-Boom with trainer Edito Villamor and my fellow columnist, Atty. Jingo Quijano Continue reading ALA Boys back with the World Cup

Bang! Boom! What a double shocker

One punch. All it took was one punch.

For Gerry Penalosa, he played defense on the first round, blocked with his two red gloves on the second, jabbed in the third, then, all the way until the seventh, he stood relaxed. Maybe too relaxed. He was losing. Sev Sarmenta and Dyan Castillejo saw it, you and I saw it, Jhonny Gonzalez saw it. And then… BANG!

One punch. It was a left wallop at the rib cage of the lanky Mexican, who took two hops backward then knelt on both legs and hands. GERRY WON! GERRY WON! Who would have believed it? Didn’t you jump? Scream? Feel proud for the 35-year-old, who became the oldest-ever Filipino world champ?

One punch. For Rey Bautista, all it took was, ironically, one punch. He didn’t hide or spar or warm up the enemy—he brawled with the brawler, faced him face front, flirted with the bare-chested monster. And then… BOOOM!

One punch. It dazed Boom-Boom, wobbled his knees, clouded his vision. It thwacked like a cannonball. Struck with the impact of a Caterpillar bulldozer. Boom-Boom stood up, but it was all over…

Wasn’t it shocking? Minutes after Gerry’s shocking win… this? Win after win after win—five straight—hadn’t we grown accustomed to winning? To celebrating? To ordering another San Mig Light? To toasting the bottle on the air? And, tell I’m wrong, weren’t the words “Six-Zero” and “How embarrassing for the Mexicans…” pasted on our minds? Continue reading Bang! Boom! What a double shocker