One of the greatest compliments a boxing student can ever receive is to be offered a professional boxing career by one of the prominent names in the boxing industry.
Earlier today, I had my boxing workout in Elorde Makati, which is now located in 4F Prudential Life Building, Arnaiz Ave., Makati (haha! shameless plug!). It so happened that the owner, Mr. Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr., and his wife are also in the gym to oversee the operations. Sir Bebot, or Bossing as I call him in front of his boxers, is the eldest son of Flash Elorde and is a boxing manager and promoter. He currently handles at least 10 professional boxers in his stable in Paranaque.
Our conversation went something like this:
Ziggy: Rizza, gusto mo lumaban kay Jackie Forster? [Rizza, do you want to fight with Jackie Forster?]
Bossing: Gusto mo ba lumaban? [Do you want to compete?]
Me: Sa UKC, opo, kaya lang walang kalaban e. Ang laki ko kasi. Haha! [Yup, UKC. But I was too big that they couldn’t find a match for me. Haha!]
Bossing: Rizza, ilang taon ka na? [Rizza, how old are you?]
Me: 24 po
Bossing: A, pwede pa sa pro. Kumpleto naman yung ngipin mo diba? Wala ka namang false teeth [A…still qualified for pro. You have complete set of teeth, right? You don’t have false teeth]
Me: Wala po. [Yup, there’s none.]
Bossing: Sige, ilalaban kita sa pro ha? [I’ll line you up for pro ok?]
Me: Haha! Seryoso po ba kayo? [Haha! Are you serious?] (at this point, I was panicking and laughing at the same time)
Bossing: Oo. Husayan mo ensayo mo ha. Tingnan natin kung pwede ka na ilaban sa Mexico pagkatapos ng ilang buwan. Malaki pera dun. [Yup, so train well. Let’s see if you can fight in Mexico after a few months. It’s big money there.]
At the start, I thought we were all at the same page and we were all referring to UKC, the interbranch boxing tournament for Elorde students. When Bossing started to ask how old I am and the authenticity of my teeth, I got confused. His mention of the word “pro” somehow stunned me. Akala ko namali lang ako ng rinig. When he repeated it and mentioned Mexico, ayan na. I said to myself “malamang nambobola lang ‘to”. But when he started insisting to know my weight class, observed me on how I throw punches in the punching bag and punchmitts, gave me tips on how to throw punches, held the bag while I do combinations, and told my trainer to train me well on footworks, that’s when I realized that he was serious!
How did this start? As mentioned on my previous post, my regular running route is in LMP, which is the same place where Elorde boxers run. Bossing also does his morning walks there, especially weeks before the scheduled fights of his boxers. Kelangan bantayan e. Needless to say, he sees me there regularly and we share our morning hi’s and hello’s. He also sees the level of training that I do, that as much as possible I run at the same level as the boxers, whether on the speed or the number of rounds covered. Of course, boxers would always overtake me. Haha! When he saw me recently on how I do punch mitts, ayan na. Modesty aside, I don’t think I punch and move like a girl anymore whenever I am in a boxing gym. (Side note: OK, for a while I got confused on this line. Is this supposed to be a compliment? Haha!) Let this video, taken in December 2009, do the talking.
Months after this video was taken, everyone noticed the improved power and impact of the punches, thanks to my ever patient trainer Bitoy Villegas and Coach Ver Openio and Jun Castillo when Bitoy’s not around. 🙂
Am I ready to aspire to become the next Ana Julaton of the Philippines? Funny that I am entertaining this idea.