AFTER two long years of waiting, former world champion Rey “Hitman” Loreto of Davao City is still hoping he will receive his unpaid purse from a title fight in South Africa.
“Sana po ay mabigyan (pa rin) nang pansin kasi parang bale wala lang ang tagal ng dalawang taon na ang nakalipas,” (I hope it will still be given attention although it has been neglected for the past two years now) said Loreto in his Facebook account.
The 26-year old Loreto retained his International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight title by stopping Nkosinathi Joyi via a technical knockout in 1:46 of the first round at the Mdantsane Indoor Centre in Mdantsane, Eastern Cape, South Africa on March 22, 2015.
Loreto, however, came back home to the Philippines without his purse which he claimed to be worth P2 million.
His trainer Joven “JJ” Jorda of Highlands Boxing Gym from La Trinidad, Benguet supposedly did not allow Loreto to fight after the South African boxing promoter did not advance the guaranteed purse before the fight.
“Mali ko din kasi pumayag ako sa sinabi ni Sir (Manny) Pinol na OK lang daw na after a week pagkatapos ng laban i-send sa bank account ni Sir Pinol ang premyo,” (It’s my fault because I agreed to what Sir (Manny) Pinol said that it was just OK for after a week after the fight it will be sent in his bank account),” said Jorda in his Facebook.
“Sino ba naman ako na di susunod sa pagsabi ni Sir Pinol na OK lang daw at kilalaa naman daw nya ang promoter na si Sepatho Handi,” (Who am I not to follow Sir Pinol that it was just OK for he knows the promoter Sepatho Handi),” added Jorda.
Pinol, however, did not receive the payment and has already filed a case against the promoter a few months after the fight.
Jorda and Loreto re-posted on social media the incident after a futile wait.
Jorda said that new Games and Amusements Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra is willing to help them on the case.
Mitra has ordered GAB Davao to gather more details and updates of the case.
Meanwhile, international promoter-manager Brico Santig of Highland Promotions said that he already told Pinol of his plan to waive his share from being the registered manager of Loreto.
“Nag waive na lang po ako ng share ko bilang manager dahil wala naman may kagustuhan sa nangyari sa South Africa (I waived my share as a manager because nobody wanted that to happen in South Africa) said Santig, who also had informed Mitra.
“Ang priority ko ay yung boxer dahil noong panahon na yun halos mabaliw baliw na siya sa kaiisip sa premyo niya at maiyak iyak siya dahil umaasa sila ng trainer nya si Joven Jordan a makatulong at mairaos konte ang kanilang pamilya sa kahirapan (My priority was the boxer because at that time he almost went crazy thinking of the purse at he cried because he and his trainer were hoping that they can at least help and uplift their family from poverty), said Santig.
“Dahil alam naman natin ang buhay boksingero sa boxing lang sila umaasa” (Because we know that the life of a boxer only relies in boxing) said Santig.
Santig said that Pinol went to Sen. Manny Pacquiao and was able to get a P500,000 support for Loreto.
Santig also did his own effort by asking help from Thailand’s boxing patron Naris Singwancha during the OPBF Convention held in Bacolod City. Singwancha gave Loreto a huge amount, which was used by the boxer to start the construction of their house in Davao City.
After his fight in South Africa, Loreto went to Thailand to knockout Fapikat Twins Gym in the first round only at the Ambassador Hotel in Bangkok on January 22, 2016.
Loreto did not defend his title and instead fought in Japan on April 24, 2016. He stopped Koji Itagaki via a 4th round TKO at the Marina Hop in Hiroshima.
Loreto last saw action last August 19 when he pummelled to submission Rungrit Sor Visetkit via a 3rd round TKO at the Bangkok University Thonburi Campus in Bangkok.
Loreto (23-13-0, 15 KOs) is currently ranked World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 1, World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 3 and the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) No. 1 contender.