Manny Pacquiao's Tormentor Rustico Torrecampo Surfaces After 14 Years

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Manny Pacquiao's Tormentor Rustico Torrecampo Surfaces After 14 Years
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Manny Pacquiao with Shane Mosley

One of the three boxers who gave Manny Pacquiao his first loss as a professional boxer is staging a comeback after 14 years of retirement.

Rustico Torrecampo, who is now 38 years old, has returned to the ring and fought Jovanie Bualan in Imus, Cavite, Philippines last weekend, signaling his official comeback after a long layoff.

Torrecampo won the fight against the young Bualan via a third-round knockout.

“I’m back,” roared Torrecampo after veteran WBA-licensed referee Silvestre Abainza stepped in to save Bualan from more punishment. “I want to show the fans I can still fight. I want to show it’s never too late to come back if you’re in shape and determined. I know I’ll never be like Manny but I want to keep fighting. I want to go as far as I can.”

Aside from Torrecampo, Pacquiao has also lost to two other boxers, including Medgoen Singsurat of Thailand on September 17, 1999 via third-round knockout and Mexican Erik Morales of Mexico via a unanimous decision in their first of three fights that started in March 2005, held at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Torrecampo's manager Lito Navarro told Star columnist Joaquin Henson he is prepared to back up the fighter all the way.

“He’s like a miniature Evander Holyfield,” said Navarro. “He’s built like a tank. He’s solid at 117 pounds. The fans mobbed him like he fought in the main event. Everyone wanted a picture with Torrecampo. His body is incredible. His abs show he trained hard for this fight.”

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Manny Pacquiao with PH President Nonoy Aquino

Navarro said Torrecampo no longer sells food in the sidewalks of Tondo. “He’s back as a full-time fighter,” said Navarro. “I’m taking care of him. I’m supporting him. He got P4,000 for the fight against Bualan. He’ll probably fight next in April, maybe a six-rounder for P6,000. He wakes up early, jogs, then works out in the gym. He doesn’t move like a 38-year-old, more like he’s in his 20s.”

Meanwhile, Torrecampo's victim Manny Pacquiao, now a holder of eight titles in as many divisions, has returned to the Philippines over the weekend after a week-long promotional tour in the US of his upcoming fight with Shane Mosley on May 7.

Pacquiao, who had an audience with US President Barack Obama during his visit to the White House, said he will start early training in Manila before moving to Baguio City for a four-week regular training under the supervision of his trainer Freddie Roach and strength conditioning Coach Alex Ariza.

Pacquiao and his entourage will move to the US five weeks before the fight for the final phase of his training.

The upcoming Pacquiao-Mosley fight, which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be available on pay-per-view and will be shown on CBS/Showtime.

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