Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fair Play: If Velarde wins by KO, I'll win Cebu Marathon

NO MEXICAN fighter worth his salt will ever say, “I’m just here to punch my time card and collect my pay,” so I understand where Carlos Velarde, the Mexican challenger of Donnie Nietes is coming from when he vowed to stop the Filipino champion this Saturday.

But a Velarde win by knockout is as likely as me winning the 2015 Cebu Marathon.

It’s possible, yes, but unlikely. Nothing is impossible and the stars could align for the Mexican to walk away with Nietes WBO light flyweight crown just as it is plausible that if I join the Cebu Marathon, the stars could align and all the runners ahead of me would suddenly stop so I’d cross the finish line at No. 1.


Nietes, who is my favorite Filipino boxer of all time and is one of my favorite Filipino athletes, rarely issues something bolder than “I’ll try my best in the ring.”

So this pre-fight battle is going to be one-sided in favor of the visiting Mexican, as is usually the case.

Velarde talked about his one-knockout punch, too, but come Saturday, I’m sure he’ll be back-pedaling most of the night, hoping to survive 12 rounds with Nietes, who by the way hasn’t been knocked out in his career.

Sure, Velarde has scored a few second-round knockout wins, but if you look further, they were against guys who had records of 15-8-1, 12-5-1, 0-3-2 and 5-15-0. (All records taken from boxrec.com).

And in the 2009 to 2010 period, when Nietes was defending his WBO world minimumweight belt against Mexicans Erik Ramirez (25-5-1), Manuel Vargas (27-3-1), and Mario Rodriguez (10-5-3) in Mexico, Velarde was fattening up his record with knockout wins against guys who had a combined win-loss-draw record of 19-29-1, three of whom haven’t even won yet.

Of course, a lot of things have changed since that time. But since then, too, all Nietes did was not only cement his legacy as one of the best boxers in the country, but as one of the best boxers in the world, ever.

Who said that? Ring Magazine said that.

So this Saturday, don’t forget to be part of history. A fight like this won’t happen again in Cebu. And lest we forget, the ever humble Nietes deserves every support you can give when he takes a fight that he could have taken in the posh Mall of Asia Arena.

But it’s in Cebu. For you and me and the rest who of the fans who were there when his
reign was but a week old.

Sure, Velarde can score an upset...and I can win the Cebu Marathon even if I haven’t signed up.

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