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Boxing’s crucial ingredient

I HAD a tough time deciding on writing about someone in my previous column, not because there were lies in what I was about to write.

I was torn between writing a good stuff about the potentials of one basketball player, but at the back of my mind, I was being egged on to censure his siblings, who are in another sport.

Also, the Elordes have become a good friend of mine and had countless meaningful interviews about the sport.

It was a Saturday night when I felt that traversing about 60 kilometers of rain-drenched road to and from my house was worth it when I was able to secure a scheduled telephone interview with Philippine Basketball Association rookie Nico Elorde for our radio show the following day.

Nico, just like his siblings and other relatives, was very accommodating when I got to talk to him and such was the same when we had him on our radio program.

His brothers Juan Martin or “Bai” and Juan Miguel or “Mig” have been campaigning professionally and I had the privilege of seeing them fight live.

But last Sept. 12, I cannot help but cringe in seeing the two in action at the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque.

Mig annihilated Indon Arnold Mau with a single body punch in the opening round, while it took Bai six rounds to stop a very awkward Yakobus Heluka.

Both Elordes are highly rated in their respective divisions, with Mig ranked 11th in the World Boxing Association superbantamweight class currently ruled by Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux, while Bai is the sixth-ranked contender of World Boxing Organization junior lightweight kingpin roman Martinez of Puerto Rico.

I have to admit, the two boxers have decent talents, who can give current champions of their respective divisions a tough challenge.

But they don’t have one, crucial ingredient that can make a boxer truly successful inside the ring and that is hunger, both figuratively and literally.

You cannot blame his parents Johnny and Liza to “pamper” their kids when it comes to choosing their opponents.

I am sure both Bai and Mig are up to the task, but Daddy Johnny and Mommy Liza just can’t let that happen.

For a while, I thought the Elordes are just grooming the two for big time boxing when they were fed with nondescript boxers early in their careers.

And when I learned they are now world-rated and are set to see action last week, I immediately went to Sucat (I live in Quezon City, by the way) and braved the traffic just to finally see them against supposed topnotch boxers.

Bai and Mig’s bouts were disappointing, to say the least and it made me believe I won’t be seeing them against quality opposition.

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