Mandaue City could become the next boxing hub, thanks to the grassroots program started by renowned trainer Edito Ala Villamor.
Villamor, the former head trainer of the famed ALA Boxing Gym, opened his own gym after the Cebu-based boxing outfit of Antonio Aldeguer closed shop last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Boxing is my passion and I decided to share that talent that I learned in my 35 years with ALA boxing,” said Villamor, who finished his pro career with a 29-2-1 record with 26 KOs.
Having earned a decent living through the sport, Villamor said he wants to share the opportunities with gifted youngsters who also want to pursue a career in the sport.
“I just want to continue the grassroots program started by Sir ALA and with luck, maybe I can develop the next generation of boxers who can represent the Philippines in the Olympics,” said Villamor.
Aldeguer, the longtime boxing patron of Cebu, nurtured the likes of Gerry Penalosa, Andy Tabanas, Rodel Mayol, Malcolm Tunacao, Z Gorres, Rodel Mayol and Donnie Nietes among others.
Villamor is training some 60 kids, mostly from the Mandaue City area, five times a week and so far, they have improved remarkably. The training is free as most of them are from under-privileged families.
“So far, the improvements have been great. Aside from learning the basics, some of them are already into sparring,” said Villamor.
Villamor hopes to sustain the program as long as he is able though he is hoping some good-hearted individuals can help in sponsoring some of the kids.