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Friday, April 19, 2019
CEBU

Limpag: Weighting game

Fair Play

I’m sure, a lot of people would want to be in Jhack Tepora’s shoes and I’m not talking about having the chance to fight in Las Vegas in a Manny Pacquiao fight.

Every January, gym memberships are always up with weekend culinary warriors trying to shed excess holiday poundage.

Most, unfortunately, fail their target and are already part of those one-month and done gym enrollees come February.

Some of us, because we’re not boxers, can’t shed a pound in a week even if our life depended on it.

I asked Marian C. Baring, our soc med guru who was formerly the sports desk muse, if she could shed 11 pounds in five days.

“Kaya kung way kaonkaon,” said MCB, who is no stranger to being a gym rat and a yoga practitioner.

But losing 11 pounds in six days is what Jack must do so he can defend his WBA belt and the boxer and his handlers are so nonchalant about it.

“He’s not drained, he’s still eating,” Pingping Tepora told Edri Aznar.

He’s still eating but he needs to lose weight. That’s just one of the many things that separate boxers from us mere mortals.

Heck, I don’t think I can lose 11 pounds in five months, much less five days. How do they do it? I’m sure more than half the population would love to know how. But, can they or are they willing to sweat it out the way boxers do? For some, come fight week, every morsel and drop of water is calculated. Others, too, go to the extreme if they miss their target weight hours before a weigh-in.

I’ve read stories of fighters shaving all hair, including around the family jewels, in an effort to make weight. Some go au naturalle if they are just grams over the limit and I saw Milan Melindo do it.

Most boxers though, need not go over that because shedding excess poundage is as easy as discarding shoes.

But what happens after the weigh-in though, is something that most Filipinos went through during the holidays.

Those pounds they lost, they come back roaring with a vengeance though they’d have to be careful as some boxing bodies limit the number of pounds a fighter can gain in the 24-hour window between weigh-in and fight night.

Here’s a fun fact casual sports fans may not know. Though there’s a weight limit for fights--126 pounds in the case of Tepora’s--the fighters are nowhere that limit come fight night and can be sometimes be 10 pounds or more.

I remember when the Pacman was still fighting at 130 pounds, he’d be at 147 come fight night, and when he’s putting a one-man clinic, the commentators would hypothetically pit him with the other 147-pounders.

So yep, like most of us during the holiday break, boxers bloat post weigh-in. Though we do it gradually (relatively, I guess) over a series of parties and reunions in a three-week Christmas season, fighters do it over 24 hours and are quick and as spry as ever.


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