by Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO lightweight title challenger Jose Ocampo is motivated by the sudden and unexpected passing of his youthful trainer Danny Bactol who died of a heart attack in while watching his fighter punching the heavy bag at the Omeda Gym in Cebu City last Thursday.
Promoter Sammy Gello-ani who was scheduled to leave for London along with Ocampo, Bactol and assistant trainer Celso Epanto relayed the tragic news to the Manila Standard shortly after Bactol who was rushed to the hospital was pronounced DOA or dead on arrival.
Gello-ani said they had a good lunch and were all in high spirits looking f orward to Ocampo's WBO lightweight title fight against Ricky Burns at the ExCel Arena in London on December 16, Manila Time.
He said Bactol did the punch-mitts with Ocampo and was very pleased with the manner in which the fighter had prepared for the fight of his life.
Bactol was holding on to a post in the gym watching Ocampo punch the bag when he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
Bactol was 50 years old and even as a pall of gloom settled over Team Ocampo with Gello-ani telling us "I lost my good friend and the best trainer I had" even as he added that Ocampo vowed to do his best to win the title in a fight he will dedicate to his fallen trainer.
Gello-ani recalled that before Johnreil Casimero left for Argentina for his IBF world title fight against Luis Lazarte his brother died and Casimero used the tragedy to motivate him to win the world title.
Gello-ani said Ocampo will strive to use the same kind of motivation while dedicating his title fight to his late trainer.
Taking the place of Bactol will be assistant trainer Celso Epanto who was originally scheduled to go with the team to London.