Ernie Sanchez: “What mismatch? Don’t put Filipino boxers down!”

Filipino boxer Ernie Sanchez, whose scheduled fight in the U.S. was abruptly cancelled due to meddling of Manny Pacquiao’s adviser, has called on detractors and bashers of Filipino boxers to respect their rights to earn a living.

The prizefighter from General Santos said he felt deeply dejected and maligned when Canadian Michael Koncz used his influence to stop his supposed fight against Mexican Diego Magdaleno scheduled yesterday (Saturday night) in California.

But what he could not really accept was the “mismatch” claim by Koncz, which prevailed over Top Rank Promotion’s Bob Arum to cancel the fight.

“Masakit ang nangyari sir, na bigla nilang tinigil ang laban. Meron naman akong pangangailangan, siyempre sa boxing lang naman ako kumikita ng pera. Dun ako kumikita, dun ako umaasa,” said Sanchez in a statement sent through his manager Brico Santig.

(It hurts me so bad when they stop me from fighting. I have needs too and boxing is my only source of income.)

“Ang mas masakit sir, parang pinapalabas nila na wala na akong pag-asa at wala akong tsansa sa kalaban ko. Sobrang pang aapi naman na po yun.”

(But what hurts me more was the claim that I don’t stand a chance against my opponent. That’s too much of an insult already.)

This is not the first time a Filipino boxer was judged and maligned based on his fight record and perceived inferiority.

Rey Loreto was the clear underdog with a lowly record of 17 wins and 13 losses when he fought champion Nkosinathi Joyi of South Africa for the International Boxing Organization miniflyweight crown recently in Monaco.

Loreto, a native of Davao, went on to score a stunning third round knockout over the former world champion Joyi, who had 24 wins (17 KOs) against two losses going into the fight.

Loreto’s trainer Joven Jorda said a boxing expert worth his salt knows that mismatch among professional boxers cannot be predicted unless they start fighting in the ring.

“Kaya katawa-tawa po ung sabihing mismatch eh hindi pa nagkakasubukan sa ring. Laluna kung na approve na po ng matchmaker and athletic commission ang laban at biglang may papasok sa eksena at pahintuin ang laban dahil mismatch daw, eh napaka unfair po sa mga boxers nun na naghanda para sa laban,” said Jorda, who was a former pro boxer himself.

(The mismatch they are claiming is ridiculous. The boxers have not even touched gloves yet. The mere fact that the matchmaker and the athletic commission approved of the fight, it’s on. It’s so unfair to the fighters who prepare for the fight then suddenly somebody enters the scene and says it’s a mismatch.)

It was very clear, according to Sanchez, that Koncz was just out to prevent him from making progress and deprive him of big fights. Sanchez came back to the Philippines even after winning two fights arranged by Koncz. But he claimed the money received was far from the fight purse he signed for in the contract.

Sanchez’s two successive losses—both by unanimous decision–were against world class boxers who have better records than Magdaleno.

Sanchez went the distance in losing his super featherweight fights to Rey Vargas (17-0) and Andres Gutierrez (27-0) last year. Sanchez has a 14-5 record while Magdalano is 18-0.

Prior to that, triumphed over Coy Evans and Wilton Hilario in the prelims of Pacquiao’s fights in Las Vegas. Both bouts, which were arranged by Koncz for MP Promotions, had no approval from the Games and Amusement Board. Sanchez’s manager at that time was Rey Golingan.

Now more matured and bulky, Magdaleno claimed he is now more comfortable fighting at lightweight which is between 130-lbs to 125-lbs. So this is contrary to claims that he is too small to fight Magdaleno., who is listed at 5’6” in height on the BoxRec website.

“Yun talaga ang timbang na komportable ako, na kaya ko. Kasi nung lumaban ako ng maliit, di ko kaya, kasi piga na piga na ako,” said Sanchez. “Tsaka pinag-aralan ko na si Magdaleno. Handang-handa na ako.”

(I am comfortable with my weight now. I started small and I tend to squeeze myself too much. I’ve studied Magdaleno and I’m well prepared against him.)

The replacement for Sanchez was Mexican Jorge Pazoz, who had a much worse record of 14-7-1. He suffered a fourth round knockout loss to Magdaleno in their scheduled 10-round bout yesterday.

*Photo credit: Temmy Villa/Canelo Promotions

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Categories: Boxing, Featured, Philippines

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