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Of promoters and fighters

 

Of promoters and fighters

By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Saturday, August 2, 2014


THE other day, I attended a press conference hosted by ALA Promotions for its first ever Pinoy Pride card in Dubai scheduled this Sept. 5.
Headlining the card is Genesis Servania, who will be going up against Jose Cabrera of Mexico. Also on the card will be Arthur Villanueva facing off against Nicaraguan Henry Maldonado, and Rey Bautista, who is on the comeback trail, penciled to fight against Jose Martinez.
It occurred to me how fortunate these fighters are, especially Bautista, who has been given several chances, to have an avuncular promoter like ALA promotions.

Founded by Antonio L. Aldeguer, ALA Promotions is now being headed by son Michael, but we all know his legacy of nurturing fighters and treating them like family defines ALA Promotions’ relationship with its fighters.

SUCCESS. Inevitably, a fighter’s success is as much as his promoter’s and their fates are inexorably intertwined.

Together a talented fighter and a well-connected promoter can be an unbeatable tandem.

A fighter can gain as much fame and money, not only as his talent will allow, but as far as his promoter can take him.

A case in point is the tandem of Oscar de la Hoya and Bob Arum.

THE GOLDEN BOY. Oscar was the complete package. A gold medal winner at the Barcelona Olympics, he had the looks, the talent and the huge Hispanic crown behind him.

He was a promoter’s dream and Arum’s dreams came true when Oscar turned pro under the Top Rank banner.

It was a perfect marriage–Oscar had the skill set and the image, and Arum had the guile and the gravitas to promote his fighter. The result was a win-win equation for both.

Oscar won several world titles in six weight divisions and became the face of the sport after Mike Tyson retired.

Arum got the recognition and of course, he had the cash cow tethered to a legal, binding promotional contract.

However, things turned sour when Oscar started his own promotional company, and Arum openly criticized Oscar when he was knocked out by Bernard Hopkins in 2004.

Oscar would go on to recruit fellow fighters like Bernard Hopkins and Marco Antonio Barrera and mark the arrival of Golden Boy Promotions as a major force in the sport.

EXHIBIT B. Manny Pacquiao is also another prime example of how a promoter can make or unmake a fighter’s career.

Early on, Arum brought Pacquiao to the zenith of the sport, demonstrating impeccable timing in pairing him off against the best fighters of his generation. Of course, Manny did the hard part and he did it spectacularly well.

But the way things are turning out now, Manny’s career appears to be experiencing a flame-out, which couldn’t have come at a worse time when his powers inside the ring appear to have waned.

After all he has achieved, Manny doesn’t need to fight a Chris Algieri and has nothing to prove in defeating an unknown commodity.

The pay-per-view numbers in his last Macau fight against Brandon Rios didn’t exactly break any records and it’s extremely doubtful they will improve against a nondescript fighter like Algieri.

Remember that Arum booked the date and venue before any opponent was named- and so Macau was already a pre-determined, ironclad choice.

I sure hope he knows what he’s doing. With Manny announcing formally his intention to retire in 2016, we can count on only a maximum of four more instances our “Pambansang Kamao” will climb the ring.

Let’s hope those four remaining fights are relevant.

IRON LAWYERS. Good luck to my brother Atty. Ramsey Quijano who will be among the chosen few to participate in today’s Cobra’s Ironman 70.3 as well as to my companeros, Jemil Marquez and John Ungab. Go Iron lawyers!

LAST ROUND. It’s on a good friend, Renault Lao who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers! (Source) Sunstar 

(jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)

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