Quijano: With a whimper, boxing is back

Jingo Quijano

WITH everything that’s going on around us, perhaps hardly anybody noticed that boxing returned.

With a whimper actually, but for fight nerds like me, we’ll take anything we can get our hands on right now.

COVID-19. Of course, the Covid-19 protocols are in place, but you have to consider that nothing is set in stone. These guidelines can be modified or altered anytime if something new comes up.

Just the other day, I read an article that came out in a respected science journal that a study made on asymptomatic persons infected with Covid-19 showed a significant percentage turned in abnormal lung scans indicating tissue damage.

That’s just too scary if this is verified to be 100 percent accurate. Imagine going around thinking you are fine only to find out you have impaired lungs, long-term.

The science is still out on this virus, folks. I shudder to think what we might again discover about Covid-19 in the next few months.

SUPERSTARS. Boxing is essentially, a superstar-driven sport. Unlike team sports where a second-tier team might spark interest as long as they play well, boxing being an individual sport needs its marquee names to fight.

Take, for example, basketball. Of course it needs flagship players like Lebron James and Kawhi Leonard etc. to bring in the fans. But a team like the Utah Jazz with Donovan Mitchell as its biggest name could hypothetically sneak into the finals, and grab attention if they play great team basketball.

In boxing , you can have a unification fight of the featherweight belts—the highest level of competition you can ask for in terms of prestige and meritocracy—between reigning IBF champion Josh Warrington of the UK and Xu Can of China, and hardly anybody will care outside of the hardcore fans.

You get the point.

SEPTEMBER. Top Rank’s boxing events on ESPN are what’s going on right now and expectedly we don’t have the big names yet.

Traditionally, September has been a big event—month for boxing and so right now we are hearing talks about a potential clash between Vasyl Lomachenko, the sport’s no 1 pound-for-pound fighter, and Teofimo Lopez.

You also hear Keith Thurman chasing down that rematch with Manny Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum chiming in that the latter should face Terence Crawford in a dream match-up.

Arum also correctly opined that a fight of that magnitude would need spectators. Of course, Bob, but we don’t know how that can happen anytime soon.

With that in mind, it looks like we will have to entertain ourselves with the scraps for now.

VERBATIM. “Until he finishes his career out, I will demand that rematch.”

—Keith Thurman on getting that 2nd Pacquiao fight (www.boxingscene.com)

LAST ROUND. It’s on the Energy Regulatory Board’s prolific Chief Energy Regulation Officer for the Visayas, Atty. Joel Y. Bontuyan, who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!