Having no fightpromotions the past eight months, some professional boxers opted to temporarily work as porters at the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post to sustain their needs in this pandemic.
Former Orient Pacific Boxing Federation champion Jilbert Gomera could be seen hauling sacks of vegetables early in the morning until five p.m.
“Kapag sinwerte tatlong loads, pero ngayon at marami na kaming kargador, isa nalang,” said Gomera, who fought Ireland’s top boxer, Ryan Burnett last year.
Gomera, who hails from Cotabato del Sur, has encou-raged his colleagues at the La Trinidad-based Highland Boxing Gym namely MJ Oduna, Ador Torres, and young trainer, Louie Jorda, son of Santig’s most trusted and accomplished trainer Joven Jordato to also work as porters.
Highland Boxing Promotions owner Brico Santig said his four boxers can make up to P1,000 a day if business is good.
Out of the 28 boxers staying in a four-storey residence-cum gym before the pandemic, only Gomera and his three colleagues opted to stay after most of their colleagues went back to their respective hometowns.
Santig said he had to immediately book the tickets of his boxers, some living in Visayas and Mindanao, so they could go home before the lockdown.
The Igorot boxing promoter said he has come home to La Trinidad last August and practically gave up his office in Manila to reduce expenses with the continued lockdown.
He also maintains a gym in Bangkok, Thailand where his family resides.
The boxing honcho had a good run last year when he used the Manila Arena for his fight promotions with the Philippine Amusement Games Corporation as a main sponsor.
He also sent Gomera to Ireland to fight Burnett, who earlier lost to Nonito Donaire in the world series. Fightnews Asia also named him last year’s top promoter.
Santig said he and the boxers await for better days to come when they could mount boxing fights again.
For now, the boxers consider porter work as part of their training while also not forgetting to set aside time for training inside the gym after hauling sacks of vegetables brought to various parts of the country. – Ofelia C. Empian