Freeman Cebu Sports

Caitom to celebrate gym’s third anniversary with amateur boxfest

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Former boxing champion turned international referee-judge Rey Caitom, Jr. will mark the third anniversary of his fitness gym located in Purok Rambo Smart Tower in Barangay Babag 2, Lapu-Lapu City with some amateur fights today.

Caitom opened his modest sweat shop upon his retirement in 2021 in the hope of giving back to the sport that helped made him what he is now today.

A decorated ring gladiator, Caitom started as an amateur pug of Cebu’s fabled ALA Gym when he was 11 years old.

Winning local up to national tournaments, Caitom earned an athletic scholarship at the University of the Visayas (UV) where he eventually graduated with a degree in Information Technology.

Caitom would later turn pro, but not for long as he decided to stop fighting after six wins and a draw to seek greener pastures in Singapore where he worked as a trainer.

He made a surprise comeback in 2018, grabbing the World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council minimumweight belt the following year. He failed in his first title defense though, prompting him to hang up his gloves for good.

During his prime, Caitom carried the monicker “The Future”.

And that is now his mission, to guide young aspiring boxers towards achieving their dreams in life someday.

That is why Caitom offers free training when he opened his sweat shop to the public when restrictions were relaxed during the pandemic.

At the moment, Caitom has five community fighters in his fold, with age ranging from nine to 12 years old.

“Free training ni sila sa gym. Gikan ni sila sa mga pobreng pamilya nga mag-boxing para madisiplina ug malayo sa bisyo,” said Caitom.

To further test their skills, Sairyl Sumagang (24 kgs.), Jayquill Baguio (30 kgs.), Fernan Cahayagan(28kgs.), Ken Gemina (44kgs.), and Jude Responso (42kgs) will be exchanging blows with some upstart pugilists from Mandaue and other gyms.

Alexander Delima (65kgs), Caitom’s regular client, will also be seeing action.

“Magpa-boxing ko para sa mga bata aron ma-encourage sila nga magsige og training. Hopefully, modaghan na pud ni sila,” Caitom added.

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