One of Manangquil’s fighters Mike Plania will take on WBO No. 1 bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr. in a Top Rank 10-rounder at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on June 16. He’s the first Filipino fighter to see action anywhere in the world since the lockdown last March.
STAR/File
Age just a number for JC
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2020 - 12:00am

When super WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao says age is just a number, he refers to being 41 not as a handicap to staying competitive in the ring. When boxing manager and promoter J. C. (Jim Claude) Manangquil says the same thing, it’s about him being only 27 but holding his own in the backroom machinations of the sport.

Manangquil runs SanMan Promotions of General Santos City and his stable lists over 34 fighters. JC was 13 when he began managing Jether Oliva’s career and 15 when he staged his first boxing promotion. Oliva, now 34, was unbeaten in his first 18 fights, battled twice for the world title and retired in 2016 with a 24-7-2 record, including 11 KOs. All seven losses came in overseas bouts. Manangquil gave Oliva the chance to be successful and earn from boxing – that’s what he does for his wards. 

One of Manangquil’s fighters Mike Plania will take on WBO No. 1 bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr. in a Top Rank 10-rounder at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on June 16. He’s the first Filipino fighter to see action anywhere in the world since the lockdown last March.

“I started from nothing,” said Manangquil, the youngest of three boys. “No one supported me. I saved my allowance from school and sold tuna scraps in the streets to support my boxers. At first, my parents didn’t like boxing for me. My dad (Jesus) is a retired Army general and my mom (Sol) is a tuna exporter. I went to Enderun Colleges in Taguig and after I graduated in 2013, I went really hard into boxing because I already had money to support my boxers. Actually, even when I was studying, I was really going full-time with boxing. I just didn’t have the funds and I was really young and inexperienced.”

While in school, Manangquil arranged for his fighters to earn dollars abroad. An example was Fernando Lumacad who fought in six bouts in Mexico and one in Las Vegas before retiring in 2014 with a 31-9-3 record, including 14 KOs. Another was Oliva who battled in Mexico thrice, South Africa twice, South Korea and Australia.

Manangquil’s love affair with boxing began when his brother brought retired pro Bert Batiller to teach him how to box. JC was only 10 at the time. Batiller campaigned from 1994 to 1999 and once faced Pacquiao. “The first time they put wraps on my hands, I fell in love,” said Manangquil. “That time, Manny was winning big overseas. When I was 13, my mom didn’t want me to box anymore. I felt bad but I found a way to stick with boxing. I first handled amateurs then pros and my first good fighter was Oliva. When I was 15 or 16, our family friend Wakee Salud of Cebu guided me as a boxing manager and promoter. He was my mentor. One of Wakee’s fighters Marlon Tapales is now training with me.”

Manangquil employs six trainers in his General Santos City camp – Markquil Salvana, Paul and John Mark Apolinario, Jose Valendez, Ronerex Dalut and Jefti Tinamisan. Four of his fighters are in the top 10 world ratings – WBA No. 1 and IBF No. 6 bantamweight Reymart Gaballo, IBF No. 3 and WBO No. 9 flyweight Jayson Mama, IBF No. 7 superflyweight Jade Bornea and WBA No. 10 superbantamweight Plania. Tapales is rated No. 4 by the IBF in the superbantamweight division and is a former WBO bantamweight ruler. Four veterans in his stable are Randy Petalcorin who has fought twice for the world title and was once the WBA interm lightflyweight champion, superbantamweight Richie Mepranum who has fought thrice for the world title, minimumweight Joey Canoy who has fought thrice for the world title and Romero Duno who lost to highly-touted, unbeaten Ryan Garcia in Las Vegas last November. Five of his fighters have been in the US since January training with Cuban Moro Fernandez.

MANNY PACQUIAO
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