“SACRIFICE and dedication.”

Rogen Ladon said these were the keys for him to reach his dream to become a successful boxer.

Ladon, 26, of Barangay Lag-asan in Bago City snatched the first gold medal in boxing for the country during the 2022 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

The 2016 Olympian defeated Vietnam’s Van Thao Tran in the finals of men’s 48kg to 52kg class.

Inspired by his brother who was also part of the Philippine boxing team, Ladon started training back in 2007 at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center in Bago City.

He initially studied at the Ramon Torres National High School and later transferred to Baguio City National High School in 2009 when he already became a member of the national boxing team.

Other than the Olympics and SEA Games, Ladon was also part of the Philippine boxing team during the 2018 Asian games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

“I entered boxing because of poverty,” he said, admitting that he did not actually know what he wanted in life when he was younger being the seventh of nine children.

When asked how he would describe his experience during the 2016 Olympics from his SEA Games stint, the boxer said it was really far different.

“Although it’s also tough to be at the SEA Games, the Olympics competition is stiffer because the athletes there are already the best of the best from their respective countries,” Ladon shared.

Before competing for the SEA games, he trained for five months in Baguio City and joined Thailand open held in Phuket.

Ladon stressed that he did not expect to win in SEA games because he said his competitors were also good.

Now a father of two, Ladon said he dedicated his success to his own father.

He is set to arrive in Negros Occidental tomorrow, May 29 and will have a motorcade in his hometown in Bago, where a hero’s welcome is waiting for him.

Ladon is also expected to receive incentives and honors from the city government of Bago.

The boxing champion thanked Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo and the rest of the locality’s officials for their unwavering support.

Yulo earlier lauded Ladon and fellow boxer James Palicte for their hard work and dedication, and for bringing Bago City to the international sports scene.

Aside from being the pride of the city, Yulo said, Ladon and Palicte serve as inspiration, especially to the young Bagonohons.

“The city honors their courage and determination to succeed in their chosen field,” the mayor said, as he hopes that their new feat will inspire more local athletes to also work hard and achieve their dreams.