Remember two-time world boxing champion Luisito Espinosa?
Nicknamed “Lindol” during his fighting days, Espinosa is back in the country for a short vacation.
And while here in Manila, the 52-year-old champion is meeting with Games and Amusements Board Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra to seek assistance for some uncollected prize money owed to him by the promoters of his previous title fight in Koronadal, Cotabato.
“Walang nangyari. Hindi ako nabayaran. Sana ngayon, may makuha na ako. 'Yun na lang ang hinihintay ko. Sana makuha ko 'yung pera para makapag-enjoy naman ako sa sarili ko,” said Espinosa during the 51st “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports at the National Press Club in Intramuros, Manila.
Asked about his life away from the country, Espinosa said he is now working as a boxing trainer in a fitness gym in Dalian City, China.
“Nag-train ako ng mga tao sa China. Parang sa fitness gym 'yung trabaho ko ngayon,” explained Espinosa, who retired with a ring record of 47 wins, including 26 by knockouts, against 13 losses, in a career spanning from 1984 to 2005.
Espinosa returns to China on Feb. 1.
Mitra, who appeared with Espinosa and another boxing great Erbito Salavarria and boxing promoter Brico Santig in the weekly sports forum supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, National Press Club, PAGCOR, Community Basketball Association and HG Guyabano Tea Leaf Drinks, assured GAB’s support to Espinosa.
“Sa GAB, lagi naman kami nakahandang tumulong sa kapakanan ng ating mga boksingero. Let’s see what we can do,” said Mitra in his reply to Espinosa.
“Matagal na panahon na 'yun, pero nakahanda namin kami sa GAB na tumulong. We want to see the contract if it’s between the promoter and Espinosa or between the provincial government and Espinosa. It’s an agreement. We will meet with our lawyers na baka puwede habulin,” added Mitra.
“During President Duterte’s time, wala naman lumaban na hindi naibigay 'yung premyo. Isa 'yan sa trabaho namin sa GAB. It is a requirement now for the promoters to produce their ITR para malaman kung may capability sila na magbayad,” explained Mitra.
Espinosa rose to prominence by winning the World Boxing Association bantamweight title by knocking out Kaokor Galaxy of Thailand in the first round in 1989.
He also captured the World Boxing Council featherweight crown by outpointing Manuel Medina of Mexico in Tokyo in 1995 and defended the title nine times until 1999.
Espinosa retired in 2005 after his knockout loss to Cristobal Cruz and spent sometime working odd jobs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.