Clint Holton P. Potestas takes us on a blow-by-blow encounter with the dynamite boxer from Bohol.
Not even a bunch of school bullies would ever dare to taunt Reynaldo “Boom-Boom” Bautista, or they would end up bruised by a millisecond touch of his fist. His elementary teacher wasn’t even spared.
“When I was young, I had little patience. I would instantly punch anyone who would tease me. I didn’t want anybody to belittle me,” he explained, slightly embarrassed.
On the brighter side of things, Bautista got his first boxing match at age 12 in his hometown in Candijay, Bohol. As part of the training, he would jog on steep mountains in the morning and do other cardio workouts in the afternoon.
“I wanted to back out a minute before the amateur fight. I wasn’t afraid of my opponent (who was also 12 years old), but I was afraid of the large crowd gathered around the ring.”
“I signaled my father that I’m quitting, but he only said there was no turning back,” Boom-Boom said.
He was famous by word of mouth. His first victory was his ticket to all boxing arenas in Bohol, garnering the championship titles.
As the province’s representative, Bautista reaped the gold medal in the 2002 National Youth Open Amateur Boxing Tournament at the Abellana Sports Complex. In the crowd was ALA Gym chairman Antonio Aldeguer who instantly offered professional training right after the bout.
It was, indeed, a step closer to his dreams. While he already anticipated the much-needed professional training, the offer also meant permanent residency in Cebu, leaving his family in Bohol. And still, he wasn’t a man of dynamite.
“I was, I think, 14 or 15 years old when I used to climb on the roof of Ala Gym just to look at Bohol island. I terribly missed my family then. I even cried on my way to Cebu. Again, I wanted to turn down the offer, but my father was confident that I was on my way to my destiny,” said the 23 year-old super bantamweight titlist.
Bautista knew that he veered into the right direction. Let the records show: Since he started professional boxing in 2003, he has only had two losses.
He defeated his opponents with mostly technical knockouts, as was in the cases of Daniel Ponce de Leon in Sacramento, USA; Hengky Wuwungan in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Aree Phosuwangym in Honolulu, USA.
While the line-up is not definite yet, his next match will be in October this year.
Sports fans have observed his explosive punches and cunning foot maneuvers. According to him, “It’s either I’d be hit or I would hit my opponent.”
To keep his lean stance, Bautista maintains a healthy routine. He wakes up at 5 in the morning to tune up his muscles. Then, he jogs some tough kilometers: from Talamban to the mountains of Busay or to the shores of Punta Engaño, Mactan.
Diet is strict. Eggs, oatmeal, and bananas are his choices for breakfast while dinner is served with papaya and fish. A cup of rice for luncheon provides energy before his 3 p.m. training in the boxing ring, cooling down at 5 p.m.
“Since I started as a professional boxer, I haven’t punched anybody outside the ring. I have learned, above all, how to discipline myself in all aspects,” he ponders on the greatest value he has earned.
“Some things have changed, too. When I go to malls or other public places, I need to observe proper bearing. Some kids are seriously taking us as role models.”