Fair Play: The mark of Mighty Mark

EVER since I started reading Mark Jaon Melligen’s name regularly in boxing reports, I started getting intrigued by the guy.

When I heard that he sparred with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was then keeping his unretirement under wraps, my curiosity got piqued a bit more.

I promised then to someday watch him fight, if not live, then on the usual standby—YouTube. (One coach once told me they used YouTube to scout a foe).
Imagine my surprise then when I realized I’ve seen Melligen fight. Not only that, I’ve also reported about him.

I forgot about it, not because it was an unremarkable fight—on the contrary—but because it happened back in 2005, when he lost to Non Boojumnong in the finals of the Southeast Asian Games.

During that night, things got so heated that a Pinoy journalist beside me was clamoring for a fight with a Thai writer on the other side and not only because of Melligen’s loss.

Melligen should have won. Because it was an amateur fight—and I guess in the amateur ranks, judges give you points on how well you receive a punch—he lost lopsidedly, 30-15.

I checked my report to prod my memory and I recall that after getting close at 9-8, Melligen got the better of the exchanges, but the Thai got all the points.

A few exasperated members of the audience were pointing to the scoreboard and to the action when that anomaly occurred.

While beside me, the Thai and Pinoy journalists seemed ready to take the fight for Melligen and Boojumnong, only to be stopped by the usual cooler heads.
Melligen, right now, is in the news again.

He’s facing Mexican Michel Rosales in the undercard of the Pinoy Power 2. And according to his manager, Michael Aldeguer, a win against Rosales could get him a
spot in a “big Top Rank card” in November.

The only “big Top Rank card” I know that will happen in November is the one involving Manny Pacquiao.

Aldeguer may be playing it safe by not revealing the big card, but I hope Melligen dumps Rosales so we will have another Pinoy to cheer for on Nov. 14.

I know Melligen is working hard to train for the fight, and is getting all kinds of advice from trainers and such, perhaps reminding him of the advice of the night from a few fans during that SEA games finals that may help.

Fans, that night, screamed at all the Pinoys who were trailing against Thais in the finals, “Tumbaha para dili matikas!”

MICHAEL RETURNS. Back when we were still college students on a beer budget, and thanks to a type of connection Skycable would have really liked to inspect, we got to watch Michael Schumacher’s impressive 2004 season.

It seemed at that time, he’d win in every race.

Schumacher won his record seventh title and even if the only four-wheeled contraption I can drive is a go-kart, during that season, I eagerly waited for F1 races (while
hoping that our special cable connection wasn’t discovered.)

Schumi didn’t win another title and he retired in 2007.

The only time I read about Schumi during his retirement was when he was trying to catch a flight.

He was late and he was on a taxi.

So he asked the driver to swap seats. Ever seen a crazy taxi driver? How about a former F1 world champion behind the wheel, trying to catch a flight.

“I found myself as a passenger, which was strange enough, but having Schumi behind the wheel was incredible.

He drove at full throttle around the corners and overtook in some unbelievable places,” the taxi driver, Tuncer Yilmaz, said in a report posted at Formula1.net.

Schumi made his flight, the driver got a 100 Euro tip but was reportedly penalized for letting a passenger drive.

This time, Schumacher doesn’t need to catch a flight to drive full throttle.

He’s back in Formula One.

That alone, deserves breaking the champagne.


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