Long before Sen. Manny Pacquiao became a boxing idol – being an eight-division world boxing champion ‒ there was a boxer from Koronadal City who made quite an impression.

Determined to follow the footsteps of the celebrated Rolando Navarrete – the Bad Boy from Dadiangas – Edwin Inocencio fought 41 times as a pro in a 10-year career starting in 1982.

Sadly, he finished his pro career with a 25-13-3 record.

But his 11 knockout wins in 25 times he emerged victorious had made Inocencio a local hero in the community.

Inocencio did try everything humanely possible to become a world champion like Navarrete but failed.

Luck was not on his side, but perhaps that was his destiny.

During the height of his popularity, Inocencio remained humble and friendly, though.

That’s why when he passed away on Sunday (Feb. 21) due to lingering illness, Dingskie Sarmiento, Inocencio’s long-time friend, could not hide his sadness.

He said: “Nanghinayang lang ako because di nya inabot ang katulad ng narating ng mga latest boxers today. I’m sure Sen. Manny Pacquiao knows the guy.”

The heartbreaking part was that Inocencio died poor.

“Up to this day he remained poor,” lamented Sarmiento. “Sana may makatulong sa kanya from the boxing community.”

Sarmiento was just one of the many friends trying to help Inocencio’s family.

Inocencio was already a star in the city even before Kenneth Duremdes made a name as a basketball player in the UAAP.

Duremdes, who went on to become a PBA superstar – winning the coveted MVP award once apart from playing for the Philippine team in the Asian Games thrice – was even shocked to hear about Inocencio’s sad story.

“Maliit pa lang ako naririnig ko na ang pangalan nya,” said Duremdes. “Magaling yan dati.”

Duremdes, who is now the commissioner of the MPBL, a basketball league being funded by Pacquiao, vowed to inform the fighting senator about the death one of Mindanao’s finest boxers and the current plight of the boxer’s family.

Since Pacquiao is now at his palatial home in Gen. Santos City – which is less than an hour drive from Koronadal City – help is likely to come just like the speed of Pacquiao’s wondrous body and head combination. (REY C. LACHICA)


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/02/23/duremdes-marbel-folks-seek-help-for-former-pro-boxer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=duremdes-marbel-folks-seek-help-for-former-pro-boxer)