by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Plans are in place for newly-crowned IBO junior bantamweight champion Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong to train at the gym of former four division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera and his brother Jorge in Mexico.
Dapudong’s manager, former North Cotabato governor Manny Pinol said the offer of the Barrera brothers was relayed to him by Los Angeles based physical therapist Jeff de Guzman, a friend of the Barreras.
Pinol quoted de Guzman who said “Marco and Jorge are very excited to have Dapudong train in their gym in Mexico City."
The manager of Dapudong said that with the approval of his brothers who are co-owners of the Braveheart Boxing Club of North Cotabato, Dapudong may be on his way to Mexico by the middle of July.
Pinol acknowledged that despite his spectacular first round knockout of South Africa’s Gideo Buthelezi to win the IBO title in a rematch, “ there is still a lot to be improved in the Filipino boxer's fighting style to ensure that he will survive the tougher opponents in his title defenses.”
Dapudong’s manager said that while his fighter “ packs a lot of power, there is an admitted flaw in the way he delivers some of his punches which would sometimes come from very wide angles thus reducing the impact and power. There is also a need to stabilize his stance and enhance his shiftiness inside the ring.”
The availability of excellent sparring partners in Mexico will help improve the quality of Dapudong’s sparring sessions.
Pinol’s elder brother, retired police Col. Pat Pinol who had predicted Dapudong would be a world champion even when he vwas a young amateur said "Edrin needs to work and train harder now that he is a world champion because he will be fighting opponents who also would like to be world champion."
Dapudong, who turned 27 last week, has a record of 29 wins with 17 KOs against 5 losses. At 5' 5", he is considered tall for a junior bantamweight.