‘Mabait’ ang Pinoy fighter: Does trash talking have a place in Philippine boxing?

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2020 11:49 PM

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Most Filipino boxing champions, such as Manny Pacquiao and Donnie Nietes, have been known for their humble demeanor. 

They prefer to let their fists do the talking in the ring, rather than engage their opponent in pre-fight trash talk.

This makes world bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero a rarity in Philippine boxing -- in the hopes of creating buzz in his fights, he turns brash, the opposite of most local fighters.

He even took a swipe at a fellow Pinoy champion while pursuing a bout against Japan's Naoya Inoue.

"Ganoon lang siguro ang pamamaraan para mabenta nila ang laban," said Nietes, who holds the record for being a longest reigning Philippine champion.

Nietes, however, refuses to berate an opponent in an effort to market a fight.

"Ako hinahamon ko lang [ang kalaban ko]. Ganoon lang ang style ko, hindi ko babaguhin," he said.

Coaching siblings Edmund and Edito Villamor also shared their thoughts, especially about Casimero.

Edmund said Casimero was merely playing a persona when he engages in trash talk. 

"Sa totoong buhay naman, mabait naman ang mga boxer natin, tulad ni Casimero," he said.

Edito said Filipinos aren't used to hearing a Pinoy fighter being outspoken.

"Tayong mga Pilipino 'di sanay sa mga trash talking. Nanibago lang tayo kay Casimero, pero maganda naman ang intensyon niya kasi minamarket niya ang sarili niya," he said.

"Pero sana hindi sa kapwa Pilipino, kasi hindi naman natin kinagisnan na maki-trash talk sa mga Pilipino."