By JM Siasat
Boxing is seen by many as an escape route from poverty. Many professional boxers around the globe see the sport as their ticket to fame and success. True enough, the best boxers come from tough, poor upbringings, but a 19-year-old from Sucat, Paranaque, Philippines glares through it differently.
Jordan Konstantine, more popularly known as J.K. Elorde (2-0, 2KO), is the latest entrant to the fighting Elorde tradition. Unlike most boxers, JK was brought up comfortably, so poverty never played a part in him making the decision to become a professional boxer. To him, it's really a matter of choice.
"Others turned to boxing to rise from poverty but they only got forced to doing it, not because they want it. Me, I turned to professional boxing because it is what I truly wanted," said Elorde. "I also have an advantage because I'm properly equipped with supplements [without struggle to buy them]."
JK is the grandson of the late Gabriel "Flash" Elorde who reigned for seven years as the junior lightweight champion of the world during the '60s. JK started boxing at the age of 7 and still fondly remembers how he was brought to the gym by his cousins Juan Martin and Juan Miguel Elorde.
From a young age, exchanging blows with other boxers is what made JK like the sport. "Bai and Mig brought me to the gym. What I really liked was sparring. It was just bara-bara (reckless)" recalls Elorde.
It was not until he was 14 that JK realized that he wanted to be a boxer, a notion that surprised many in the clan since it wasn't what he initially wanted. Using a southpaw stance and gifted with good hand speed, Elorde went on his training alongside his studies. As a college student at San Beda, Elorde took International Studies as his course.
At the age of 19, Elorde earned his parent's blessing to stop studying and start competing as a pro. With only 5 amateur bouts under his belt, Elorde isn't bothered at all. "It holds no bearing. Ever since I was a kid, I spar professional boxers from different gyms with different professional boxing styles. I just want to prove that I can become a champion, plus I really enjoy boxing".
Elorde competes in the featherweight division and describes himself as someone who can adjust to whatever his opponent brings to the table.
With the name he holds and the clan he's from, JK is aware that being compared to his cousins is an unavoidable circumstance. "I'll let them be if they want to compare me (to his cousins). It's obvious anyway that we all have different fighting styles and I have my own identity," says Elorde.
At this point, JK simply feels privileged for being provided with decent training programs matched with a scientific approach. He sees himself as a future world champion and plans to fight 5 to 6 times a year.
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