N. Cotabato Pug ‘Kapre’ exudes giant potential

Lightweight Roskie Cristobal, 18, and 5′ 11″ towers over his teammates (from left) miniflyweight Rommel Asenjo, jr. featherweight Ronie Apilado, bantamweight Rolando Magbanua and miniflyweight Rod Michael Sarguilla. Not in photo is IBO World Jr. Bantamweight champion Edrin Dapudong and jr. lightweight Louie Yonting. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Barangay Paco, Kidapawan City: In the simple training camp in the Braveheart Farms at the foot of Mt. Apo in the City of Kidapawan, where the Braveheart boxers sleep and eat together, each one has a monicker.

The smallest, miniflyweight Rod Michael Sarguilla, several times gold medalist in the National Youth Boxing competitions, is “Wang-bu” because he is the crazy one; Edrin Dapudong, the new champion, is called “Bungis” because he is giggly and quick to laughter, and the 5’ 11” tall Roskie Cristobal is “Kapre,” the mythical giant in Philippine folklore because of his size and height.

“Kapre” is now the focus of attention because after Dapudong won the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Jr. Bantamweight World Title, he is touted to be the next boxer from North Cotabato who has the best chance of making it big in boxing or even winning another world boxing crown for the province.

At 18 years old and already 5’ 11” tall, the big kid from President Roxas town in North Cotabato has big dreams for his family and he believes that it is through boxing that these will be realized.

Cristobal, who joined the Braveheart Boxing Club as a 12-year-old boy, is the eldest in a brood of six, the youngest of whom is only one year old.

He left the camp and went home to Pres. Roxas town to go to high school as scholar of his former town coach, Ramuel Ovalo, now a municipal councilor.

After finishing second year in high school, he returned to the Braveheart training camp and with the approval of his parents, fought his first fight at age 17 in a small card in Pigcawayan town in North Cotabato.

It was there where I saw his potential. For a tall and big kid, he was shifty inside the ring and was comfortable with his southpaw stance.

When he hit his opponent with a long and powerful left straight, I was deeply alarmed because the other boxer fell like a log.

“My father is just a tenant in a farm owned by our relatives,” Cristobal said, adding that this was one of the reasons why he decided to turn professional at a tender age of 17.

Today, the “Kapre” has scored four straight victories, all by knockout in the first round, the last of which was in Baguio City which was witnessed by no less than American trainer Freddie Roach who was impressed by the performance of the young kid.

Cristobal is being eyed as the boxer with the best potential of making it big, mainly because of his power, explosive fighting style and size.

Besides that, Roskie, who is a shy and likable kid, follows the revered Filipino tradition of kissing the hands of the elders, a gesture which makes him endearing to people around him.

Two or three years from now, “Kapre” is expected to grow even bigger and he could be campaigning in the welterweight division, a reality that I and my brothers are preparing for now.

There is not enough boxers in the welterweight division in the Philippines and Cristobal will have to be moved to the United States to achieve his full potentials as a boxer.

Given the needed support and guidance, I believe Roskie “Kapre” Cristobal will be a name many boxing fans will be familiar with a few years from now

Read more :
  • PH to see action in Rugby World Cup 7
    The Volcanoes, under American coach Al Caravelli, are set to compete in the 2013 Rugby World Cup Seven slated on June 28 to 30. Caravelli told reporters during a press conference in Pasay ...
  • Serena Williams defends US Open actions
    Serena Williams has defended her verbal outburst at umpire Eva Asderaki during last year's US Open final. The former world number one reacted angrily after Asderaki had ruled that h...
  • Roger Federer: ‘Olympic tennis is important’
    Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has insisted that the Olympic Games is an important part of the tennis calendar. Many people believe that tennis, which was reinstated as an Olympic sport ...
  • Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
    MELBOURNE - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up ...
  • Beckham remains on top of France Football magazine’s best-paid list
    David Beckham is out in front as the highest-paid player in world football, according to a report that appears in Tuesday's edition of France Football magazine. The veteran Englishman, who...
  • Djokovic’s ironman qualities tested again in Melbourne
    MELBOURNE - Novak Djokovic once had a reputation for wilting when the physical strain became too much - not anymore. In 2009, extreme heat forced him to retire during the quarter-finals at...
  • Tottenham fury over Inter ‘monkey chants’
    Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has demanded UEFA take action against Inter Milan after claiming Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor was subject to "monkey chants" during Thursday's Europa Leag...
  • Garcia, Bersamina score in Asian Youth
    INTERNATIONAL Master Jan Emmanuel Garcia and FIDE Master (FM) Paulo Bersamina claimed back-to-back wins in the Asian Youth Chess Championship 2013 in Sari, Iran on Saturday. Garcia beat Fa...