[Since I suck in boxing, I woke up with an epiphany one day and decided I better write for boxing, and made fun of the unsuspecting boxers instead. Subtlely, of course...you idiot. That's why ALA Promotions whored me to profile two of its best boxers. Here's one of them. Published originally 4/19/08]Milan “Milenyo” Milendo is ALA Gym's rising star. He reigns as the WBO Asia Pacific Minimum Weight Champion. He maintains a clean record of 15-0-0 that he shared with another star AJ “Bazooka” Banal. He lives up to his moniker as “Milenyo” [remember the super-typhoon that struck the Philippines in 2006?] as he demolished his opponents in the ring. And Milan is only 23.
The youngest of 10 siblings, Milan grew up fighting in Cagayan de Oro where his father taught him how to punch in his stroller. At 10, he collected trophies and medals from winning local boxing that made him the ideal champion to represent his province in the Batang Pinoy held in Laguna. He succeeded, of course. He added to his collection two more Gold Medals in the Palarong Pambansa. By this time, boxing critics were convinced of his talent and prowess after beating more experienced warriors. Some amateur boxing stints later, the young boxer was signed up to the ALA Gym stable – the boxing protege and the Philippine boxing baron Antonio A. Aldeguer met their paths that set Milan's destiny to his growing greatness in the boxing world.
Following are the five questions this writer asked to Milan:
What's it like having no defeat in your boxing career?
I am happy for it because it means I am on the right track. But I don't let it get into my head. I've been taught that long time ago. Records are deceptive. I trust more on training hard and preparation. When I fight as an amateur, I experienced how it was like being defeated in a fight. I recall this fight against Meljo Grumo who beat me by mere points. When I met him again in the professional level, I gave him no chance.
As a child, did you grow up wanting to be a boxer? Or do you have something in mind?
When I was 6, my father bought me a pair of gloves. So, in a way, it was natural for me growing up thinking of becoming the best boxer that I can possibly be.
How do you handle the training in the ALA Gym?
I have great mentors who keep watch in my training. I see no problem in handling my program, preparations, and pressures as long as they are with me. Their mere presence are enough to inspire me to keep working hard and complete my training quota for a day.
In the ALA Gym, all of us boxers are not only taught to learn the skills and the discipline of boxing but also how to be a good man.
Who is your favorite boxer or boxers today that have influenced you the most?
Michael Domingo, I mean, he is a good influence not only to me but to all younger boxers in the ALA Gym. He is a good man and a real fighter in the ring. He would always remind us to keep our duties to clean up at the end of the day. His personal discipline in his training is exceptional. He trains the hardest and seems focus to be a world champ.
Other good boxers that I look up with great respect are Oscar De La Hoya for his impressive combination, Jerry Penalosa for his defense, Morales and Marquez for their sportsmanship and humility when defeated.
What is your ultimate goal personally and athletically?
If God wills it, I want to become a World Champion.