Mike T. Limpag
THERE were three moments in the press conference of Z Gorres’ return that really caught my eye, moments, that really caught a few by surprise.
After the Q and A portion ended, and while the rest of the media men were either busy interviewing everybody else or devouring their food, Antonio L. Aldeguer approached Gorres, grabbed his hand, and for a few seconds, was alone with his long-missed boxer in a room full of people.
The photographers, who were then busy eating, grabbed their cameras and clicked away, trying to capture a front-page worthy picture.
But they might just as well have been shooting at nothing.
ALA, so adept at avoiding cameras, had the back of his head covering Gorres, obscuring all camera angles, while he was talking to his ward.
All I saw was ALA’s hand, grasping Gorres’ hand, tightly, during that brief talk.
Both wore shades, but you could tell they were fighting back tears.
Afterwards, ALA gamely teased the photogs, “Indi gid kamo kakuha sa akon.”
He was right. I saw the pictures, none showed their faces.
He did it again after that.
While everybody else got busy doing their thing, again, ALA returned with a bowl of soup for Gorres.
It seems, in the rush of things, nobody remembered to give Butchoy his meal.
But not ALA.
And no it wasn’t for a photo-op, nor did he do it to show anybody anything.
He did it, because that’s who he is.
All the photogs got was of Butchoy, slowly taking off his cap, and sipping his soup.
The reporters covering the presscon also had a chance to have their pictures taken with Gorres and just as we were about to leave, I heard Butchoy telling somebody that he was “Santino.”
“Miracle kid man daw ko,” he said.
Butchoy’s body may have been slowed by his injury, but his wit is still as sharp.
Dr. Ben Calderon, the miracle worker, was right, Gorres’ recovery is nothing short of miraculous.
In the weeks after Gorres’ fateful fight, two more boxers suffered the same injury and died.
One happened in the US—a former gifted amateur fighter like Gorres--while the other was in Mexico, who fought the son of Julio Cesar Chavez.
His handler, Michael Aldeguer, ALA’s son, was more serious when I got to chat with him for a while.
We were talking about the proposed Z Gorres Bill in Las Vegas, the one that aims to increase insurance coverage of boxers twentyfold—from $50,000 to $1 million.
A group of law students and boxing trainer Frank Slaughter are working together to have that bill passed.
Gorres owes much of his recovery to Dr. Calderon—an angel disguised as a hardworking doctor.
Aside from his pro bono work on Gorres, the good doctor and his wife let Butchoy and Datches stay at their home when he got discharged at the hospital.
Aside from that, Dr. Calderon also left a busy practice to accompany the two to Cebu.
I’m not one to speculate, but I think I know why he did it.
I think, like ALA, Dr. Ben did all those things because that’s who he is.