by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The manager and longtime benefactor of newly crowned IBO junior bantamweight champion Edring “The Sting” Dapudong, former North Cotabato governor and journalist Manny Pinol, has clarified the role of Angel “Memo” Heredia in the preparation of Dapudong who scored a sensational 1st round knockout to win the title in a rematch with South Africa’s Gideon Buthelezi last Saturday in Johannesburg.
Eyebrows were raised when an exclusive story in the Manila Standard revealed what Pinol said was a “secret” and that is that Heredia had advised them about Dapudong’s “nutritional requirements” through a member of Dapudong’s team, Los Angeles-based physical therapist Jeff De Guzman through email and telephone conversations which brought about what Pinol noted was "a change following Dapudong’s food intake.” Dapudong himself said he “felt different and no longer sluggish” which was evident in his performance in the ring.
Pinol himself conceded that he too was suspicious of Heredia after he served as strength and conditioning coach of Juan Manuel Marquez who was being battered by Manny Pacquiao in their fourth fight last December 8 in Las Vegas when the Mexican uncorked a perfectly-timed right to score a brutal 6th round knockout.
There were many, including Pinol, who suspected that Heredia who was involved in providing US Olympic sprinters such as Marion Jones with performance enhancing drugs in the past had introduced “something” that made Marquez more powerful. Pinol admitted that at that time he conjured an image of Heredia as “evil” and someone who may have spiked Marquez’ food and drinks with PED’s which led to Pacquiao’s crushing defeat.
When he revealed the involvement of Heredia in an overseas telephone conversation with us from Johannesburg after Dapudong’s spectacular win, Pinol said he never thought he would be associated with Heredia even by long distance text messages and emails.
Pinol revealed that unknown to him De Guzman, who was a last minute replacement for trainer/manager Aljoe Jaro who couldn’t make the trip because he had to attend a press conference in Dubai on Denver Cuello’s mandatory WBC title fight against Xiao Zhao Zhong of China on June 28, “had been communicating with Heredia, who he has befriended, seeking the latter's advise on how to handle Dapudong's nutritional requirements before and after the weigh in.”
The manager said “the advise worked because even Dapudong himself confirmed that he felt lighter and more agile because of the programmed food and nutritional intake.”
Pinol said he was “appalled at reckless and sweeping accusations being aired now “ that Dapidong used PED’s in his fight against Buthelezi and went on to detail the "secret" nutritional formula which Heredia gave to Jeff de Guzman through email and "WhatsApp."
The ex-governor said “for me and for Dapudong, these advises were "revolutionary" because in the practice we have been used to, our boxers would have a feast of beef broth with a lot of soup and rice right after weigh in. Water intake was unlimited and even salty food was given to the boxers.”
He noted that in the past he and his trainers wondered why their boxers would be very slow during a fight, panting and gasping for breath” even as he mentioned what Dapudong said after the fight - "I felt light and I was able to move quickly." Pinol attributed this to "Heredia's Secret Nutritional Formula."
He said it made a lot of sense and it worked for Dapudong. In fact, I instructed Jeff to extend to Memo my "thanks" for his help. I cannot say that this was the same thing that Heredia did to Marquez or that indeed no PEDs were given to the Mexican but in as far as Dapudong is concerned, no "PEDs" were emailed or sent through WhatsApp? and my boxer's urine sample will prove this. It worked for Dapudong and we will do the same routine the next time he fights, with or without Memo Heredia sending the instructions through email or "WhatsApp."