By Dennis "dSource" Guillermo
"They'll tell you 'just be like Manny', but they don't realize I'm not Manny." Sonny Boy Jaro talks about fighting under the MP Promotions.
WBC and Ring magazine flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro may have pulled one of the biggest upsets of the year when he knocked out Thailand's revered champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam last March, but his fight for respect has just begun.
Jaro admits that he's been getting little sleep after watching footages of his upcoming opponent on Youtube. Not that his Japanese challenger Toshiyuki Igarashi (15-1-1, 10 KOs) strikes fear in his eyes, it's because he is excited to prove that his win over Pongsaklek Wonjongkam last March wasn't a fluke.
"I have to win by knockout, so it will be more impressive," Jaro told this scribe and Philboxing writer Chito Katangkatang at the Jaro Boxing Gym in Binangonan, Rizal. "There are a lot of people that have been saying that my win over Wonjongkam was purely luck. I want to show them that I'm here to stay as a champion for a long time."
Perhaps one of the main reasons for Jaro's skeptics was his disastrous stint fighting under the MP Promotions umbrella, Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao's mismanaged boxing promotional outfit. Like former Aljoe Jaro boxing stablemate Bernabe Concepcion, Jaro jumped ship to MP Promotions a few years back hoping to make it big in the international boxing scene. Lured by the promise of bright lights and big paydays, Jaro abandoned his loyalties with his former manager and traded away having real boxing people watching over his progress and was instead thrown to the wolves.
"I know now what difference there is when someone is really managing your career and taking care of you. The difference between a manager who truly cares, as opposed to a manager who's just trying to play the part," Jaro opened up regarding his experience with MP Promotions and former manager Michael Koncz.
"Michael Koncz is not a bad person, but there's a difference when you have a real boxing person managing your career and really helping you," added Jaro.
Jaro revealed that he was left alone to take care of his own training at random gyms without the aid of a real coach and training team behind him. "I was training wherever; sometimes in Mandaluyong, sometimes at Elorde, and when I was training in the states, they'd just let Buboy Fernandez train me," said Jaro.
Asked if Fernandez is a competent boxing trainer, Jaro replied, "He's okay, but like this one time, I was already going light with my training as the fight was nearing, then he insisted in making me do 10 rounds of mitts with him and body work. When I tried to reason with him he said 'just do what I tell you and be like Manny'. Then I said to myself, but I'm not Manny."
Jaro is back training in Binangonan at the Jaro Boxing Gym and getting the proper attention and support he needs that enabled him to realize his dreams of becoming a world champ. Incidentally, MP Promotions has yet to produce a world champion.