Hidden beneath the veil of fame and fortune, under the cloak of glitz and glamor and buried underneath the pinnacle of greatness, there is a loud exclamation. A bitter story of small proportions bearing colossal significance.
For this edition of Boxing in Particular, I'd like to thank Mark Lorenzona of Pinoy Fight Scribe for such a brilliant post that inspired this piece. Thanks! So on with this.
The Price of Prizefighting
"He just wants to earn money to support his family." Short yet sacred. It was a phrase that resembles noble desires.
No, it wasn't a phrase. It was a cry—a subtle cry coming from within the inner precept of humanity.
Yes, it was a cry. A cry of indignation, a cry that transcends abysmal sorrow and immeasurable sufferings.
Lito Sisnorio is a boxer—er—he was a boxer.
Yes, he was a boxer and of course he was a dreamer. However, he dreamt of triumphs and victories not just inside the squared circle.
He dreamt of winning yet it wasn't similar to the Pacquiaos, Cottos, or Mosleys.
It wasn't a dream to permanently etch his name atop the fortress of boxing immortality nor was it a dream to surpass the all-time greats of the sport.
What's his dream?
A decent living, enough food for the family, good education for the children, and a house that can be called a home.
It was a dream much like mine, much like yours. A dream that he pursued everyday of his life. A dream that he keeps on chasing.
It was just a dream.
Indeed, Lito Sisnorio is a boxer—er—he was a boxer.
Yes, he was a boxer and of course he had a fist. A fist he used inside the squared circle.
He had a fist yet it wasn't similar to the Pacquiaos, Cottos, or Mosleys.
It wasn't a powerful fist that can crush the opposition in just a blink of an eye nor was it a vicious fist that lands perfectly-timed combinations.
What's his fist?
Nothing special, nothing spectacular. A fist that conquered 10 opponents, three of which were stopped.
It was just a fist much like mine, much like yours. A fist used for everyday labor. A fist used to put food on the family's table.
It was just a fist.
As a matter of fact, Lito Sisnorio is a boxer—er—he was a boxer.
Yes, he was a boxer and of course he fought inside the squared circle. He's a pretty decent boxer.
He fought yet his fights weren't similar to those of Pacquiaos, Cottos, or Mosleys.
They weren't as exciting, they weren't available on Pay-Per-View, nor did they draw a lot of attention.
What's his fight?
They were just bouts in small clubs and flee markets. They were practically held in small un-air conditioned gymnasiums.
It was just a fight.
Our boxer—er—our once boxer entered the not-so-sweet science armed with just a dream and a fist.
He started his career in 2003, winning nine of his first 10 bouts.
In 2006, he won the WBC youth world flyweight title.
Shortly, in 2007 he got his biggest break. A bout against seasoned veteran Chatchai Sasakul, a respected name within the boxing circles.
Sasakul had fought and stood his ground against the best fighters of his era. He had fought the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Christian Mijares.
Our once boxer on the other hand, had fought the likes of Panomroongklek Kratingdaenggym and Fahpetchanoi Sor Chitpatana—names you probably never heard of and just thought of as a tongue twister.
Nevertheless, it was the opportunity that our once boxer eagerly awaited months and years for.
It was his biggest break—a make-or-break situation. It did break.
Armed with just a dream and a fist, our once boxer entered the squared circle against a feared regional champion.
Fifteen minutes later he left the ring with shattered hopes. Our once boxer lost against a stronger opposition.
Hours later he left...
Undeniably, Lito Sisnorio is a boxer—er—he was a boxer.
Yes, he was a boxer and the onset of his rise to stardom was inside the squared circle.
He rose to stardom yet it wasn't similar to the Pacquiaos, Cottos, or Mosleys.
It wasn't a meteoric rise fueled by successive wins against boxing legends nor was it through a victory that shook the foundations of the sport.
How's his stardom?
He reached the headlines of prime-time news and his story was used as an instrument for change—to legislate stricter guidelines and prevent further tragedies.
It was quite a paradox that the beginning is the end, the end, the beginning.
Our once boxer was able to achieve his dream. He gave his family a decent living through his efforts inside the squared circle.
It was the beginning of his fame yet it was the end of something dearer, something more precious and vital.
It was the end of his story.
Sad enough, Lito Sisnorio is a boxer—er—he was a boxer.
True enough, Lito Sisnorio is a fighter and he will always remain one.
For our once boxer the price of prizefighting was his life.
Lito Sisnorio (October 10, 1982 - March 31, 2007)