It's never a mortal sin to dream big, much less to wish for a good, happy life.
Food at the table, education for the children. A comfortable, warm house, financial security, the joy of having a family of your own.
Simple dreams, but for many, dreams that are uncertain. The future? Bleak and dim.
Perhaps because of poverty, lack of education and indolence. (Well, that is another story reserved for another day.)
Awkward as it seems, sometimes sports becomes the last resort in fulfilling the dreams of having a contented, financially-secured life.
Out of the slums came Manny Pacquiao and out of those same slums came people who wish to follow the footsteps of the Filipino world champion.
One of them was Angelito Sisnorio Jr., simply Lito to his family and friends. Nothing special, nothing spectacular, but just like many of us, a born dreamer.
He's not your usual Manny Pacquiao who's always motivated to give glory to his home country. More than that, he wants to help his family and the only way he knew how - was with his fists.
Sadly, It's been two years since that same fist found and connected on a man's jaw.
It was the last day of March 2007. An ordinary, cold night at the outskirts of Samut Prakan, Thailand.
In the blue corner was Lito, a boxer who had lose four of his last five fights.
In the red corner was Chatchai Sasakul, a former world champion who had fought the likes of Yuri Arbachakov, Christian Mijares, and even the pound for pound king, Pacquiao himself.
It was a clear mismatch but for Lito the lure of money (not much, only around $200) and the promise of putting food on the table was a genuine inspiration.
His record was still lean and yet he had to fight someone like Sasakul, one of the best prizefighters to ever came out of Thailand.
Lito, just as expected, lose. But the loss was big-time. He was knocked out cold in the fourth round and lost consciousness moments after the fight.
It appeared that he had suffered a blood clot and internal bleeding in his brain. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
He had a good chance to survive, as blood clots and brain injuries are common in boxers.
But in the real world there aren't many happily ever afters and this isn't one.
He died a day after his last fight.
Indeed a tragic ending.
But what's more tragic?
It was later revealed that he went outside the Philippines without the necessary papers and that he wasn't even given a license by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB)—the Philippine boxing's authoritative body.
Those things shouldn't have happened, but the sad fact is it did happen.
Likewise, lessons should have been learned, but the depressing truth is it is a continuing craft.
There are boxers who are put up into mismatches in order for some other boxer to pad up his record. A stepping stone? No, more like a mouse put into a lion's den.
There are even boxers that are hired to lose. A sacrificial lamb at any rate.
The persons responsible for such "dark" trade should be put behind bars but, at this point, the whereabouts of Lito's manager—a Chinese national—is yet to be discovered.
The Thailand nationals who officiated and allowed the fight should be put on trial. Perhaps there was a trial, nonetheless a trial of stone.
Four our part, if the Philippine's GAB cannot monitor our boxers and other athletes alike, I think it's better if they shut their doors and stop their operations.
If they can't do their job, I think it's beneficial for everyone if they do not exist at all.
Sanctioning bodies, as the title suggests, should sanction.
But I guess they won't do that. There's much more pleasure in lying comfortably in their fully air conditioned offices while sipping a cup of coffee and reading the latest edition of a famed publication.
If this trend continues, I won't be surprise if another Lito comes out of the horizon.
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