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If the measure of success in boxing is to become a World Champion, then IBF International featherweight title-holder Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista’s fulfillment is still forthcoming. But in the game of life, one can truly say that the popular ALA Boxing fighter is already winning.
Many are the tragic tale of former Filipino boxing World Champions who are now struggling to even put food on their table. Sadly, boxers being exploited by corrupt managers and promoters are a common occurrence, while some simply do not know how to manage their finances having no formal educational background to fall back on.
This weekend, Bautista (32-2-0, 24 KOs) comes home to Bohol where he is hosting challenger Genaro Garcia (38-8-0, 22 KOs) at the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex in his hometown of Tagbilaran City, as the headliner bout of the twelfth installment of ALA Promotions’ highly successful Pinoy Pride series.
Bautista’s last fight in Bohol was back in 2005 as a 19-year-old boy with hardly anything other than a dream. This weekend, he is coming home to put on a show as a man with more than just scars to show for.
Despite just being 25-years-old and having only one title shot under his belt, Bautista has already managed to save his winnings from a professional boxing career of 34 professional bouts. Bautista runs his own vehicle rental business in Bohol, and has a few public utility jeeps and tricycles that he operates, and sometimes sidelines doing driver duties himself.
Bautista gives new meaning to the boxing term “tricycle driver” or “tuk-tuk driver”, which is an unflattering boxing slang for patsy fighters, suggesting that they were picked up from the streets and pose no real threat. Far from being a “tricycle driver” in boxing, the top featherweight contender is on the cusp of another shot at a world title.
“Minsan nagugulat ang ibang tao na nakakakilala sa akin sa amin, dahil minsan ako nagpapatakbo ng mga sasakyan ko sa amin (Sometimes, people back home that recognize me get surprised, because sometimes I drive my vehicles myself),” Bautista told me while sharing his stories with me on our way to a commercial taping for one of his fights in Manila.
Bautista also purchased land back in his hometown and made it into a rice field, where he says he would happily plant rice after he hangs up his boxing gloves.
“Sa lungsod namin, bumili ako ng palayan. Hinde natin alam ang kauuwian natin pag hinde na tayo boksingero, mag palay-palay na lang tayo, at least hinde naman ako matutulad sa ibang boxer na pagkatapos ng boxing, walang wala talaga, nanghihinge lang sila ng pera (I bought a rice field in my town. We don’t know where we might find ourselves after boxing, I might just plant rice, at least I won’t end up like other boxers after their careers, who had nothing at all and resort to asking people for money),” Bautista told me in another interview I did with him while I was in Cebu watching him train.
Win, lose, or whatever might happen this weekend and beyond, Bautista knows that whether it’s planting rice, running his own transport business and driving his tricycles and jeeps, he will have things for him to do outside the world of boxing.
A World Championship never hurts, but being financially stable isn’t a bad thing to come away with over a boxing career either. If forced to choose one from either, I’m sure many, if not all, would prefer the latter.
(CLICK HERE to watch my interview and video feature on Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista)
[ALSO READ]: ‘I think I can handle Marquez’s style’ — Mercito Gesta / ‘Superflies’: 3 Pinoy flyweights in upcoming title fights / Pacquiao praises Bradley for ‘risking his undefeated record’ / Mayweather camp responds to Dana White for calling him RACIST / Top 10 Reasons Why Floyd Mayweather, Jr. does not have ‘Lin-sanity / Veteran referee Bill Clancy condemns Argentina boxing riot, shares insights
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– dSG –
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Click here for previous episodes featuring Roy Jones, Jr., Seth Mitchell and Mercito Gesta or go to dSourceBoxing.com to tune-in to the show live!
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