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Freeman Cebu Sports

Champion makers to supervise boxing in Yogi’s “Sports for All”

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman
Champion makers to supervise boxing in Yogi�s �Sports for All�
Legendary trainers Brix Flores and Edmund Villamor will oversee the grassroots boxing program in the soon-to-be launched “Sports for All” advocacy of former customs commissioner and well known drug-buster Yogi Filemon Ruiz.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

A one-two combo of legendary trainers who are certified champion makers will supervise the boxing affairs in the soon-to-be launched “Sports for All” advocacy of former customs commissioner and top drug-buster Yogi Filemon Ruiz.

Well known ring strategists Brix Flores and Edmund Villamor are up to the task of scouting for talents and sharpening the punching skills of Manny Pacquiao wannabes. One of the great attributes they are bringing to the corner is their own experience as fighters.

This development came just a week after the announcement of Cebuano hardcourt icon Jimwell “Tora-Tora” Torion to handle the basketball side of the intensive grassroots sports development program that Ruiz will be putting in place for all 80 barangays of Cebu City starting next month.

“Given their impressive track record, these gentlemen (Flores and Villamor) are best suited for the job of discovering new talents and harnessing the potential of our young aspiring boxers in the hope of producing another ring star from Cebu in the future,” said Ruiz, the first Cebuano commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and erstwhile Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-7 director who is hell-bent on running for city mayor in next year’s elections.

Flores was a former amateur standout, reaping countless gold medals including in the Palarong Pambansa and in the National Open three times in 1985, 1987, and 1988. He also excelled on the international stage, grabbing gilt at the 1986 Sunshine State Games in Florida, United States, a bronze in the 1985 ABC Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, and silver in the 1987 Asian Challenge Match in Manila.

A decorated member of the Philippine team during his prime, Flores’ biggest achievement was winning bronze medal at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul, South Korea.

As a highly skilled tactician, Flores has molded four world champions in Malcolm Tuñacao, Rodel Mayol, Noel Tuñacao, and Norj Guro. He also minted a bunch of national and regional titlists such as the Gejon brothers Elmer and Eriberto, Wendell Janiola, Dexter Delada, and Rev Santillan.

“Akong ikapasalig sa mga batan-on nga mo-training nga makab-ot gyud nila ang ilang pangandoy nga makakuha og medal sa amateur tournaments ug ma-champion sa professional boxing sa umaabot,” said Flores. “Basta naa lang pud ang paninguha nila nga mo-training gyud ug dili magtinapulan.”

Like Flores, Villamor carries with him a shining credential.

One of the most trusted cornermen of Cebu’s fabled ALA Gym for nearly two decades, Villamor helped transform Donnie “Ahas” Nietes into a four-time world titleholder and break the record of the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion.

The other prominent figures during Villamor’s glorious days with ALA before it folded up at the height of pandemic four years ago were the likes of Dondon Sultan, the Pagara brothers Jason and Albert, Rey Bautista, AJ Banal, Mark Magsayo,Junas Sultan,Rocky Fuentes, Arthur Villanueva, and Rolly Negasca.

“Sa akong pagka-coach, ako lang i-share akong passion ug disiplina nga makuha pinaagi sa training kay ang boxing dili ra ni sports, kabahin pud ni sa akong kinabuhi ug legasiya nga akong mabilin sa mga bata isip ka trainor,” said Villamor, who was hailed as “Trainer of the Year” at the prestigious Gabriel Flash “Elorde” Boxing Awards for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015.

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