Search for ‘missing’ Pinoy boxing trainer continues

By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS

OSAKA, Japan — Boxing authorities here continued to track down the whereabouts of Filipino boxing trainer Nestor “Bong” Elorde who had not returned to the Philippines and was suspected to have gone TNT after his ward, Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) champion Juanito Rubillar posted a fifth round knockout win over challenger Ken Nakajima here recently.

Takashi Inoue, liaison of Green Tsuda Promotions here, told this writer that officials from the immigration department as well as the Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) continue to search for Elorde “because what he did was a big digrace.”

“Until now, we have not found him,” said Inoue, a former middleweight contender here, who claimed that when he first confronted a Filipino boxing judge who was supposed to be Elorde’s companion to the Kansai International Airport on a flight back to Manila after the OPBF fight, the Filipino judge was also at a loss and did not know where was Elorde.

“We are now very careful everytime fighters and trainers from Manila come to fight in Japan. We have no problem with teams from Cebu as they have good record,” said Inoue.

Matchmaker-cum- journalist Joe Koizumi in a story posted on the website said promoter Takanobu Totsuka had filed a case with the Japanese police about what Koizumi said was “the illegal overstay and illegal work” of Elorde in Japan clearly indicating that Elorde didnt get lost but had deliberately stayed behind. violating the terms and conditions of his visa.

In his report, journalist Ronnie Natanielsz wrote: “There were similar cases of so-called trainers and handlers failing to return after fights in Japan and South Korea in the past. In some instances non-boxing people posed as trainers or corner-men and allegedly with the connivance of past officials of the GAB traveled to Japan and South Korea and found work in those countries illegally. This resulted in a one year ban imposed by the Japan Boxing Commission on all Filipino fighters. The Elorde case is the first in the past few years.”

“Koizumi lamented the fact that the latest incident had “mercilessly destroyed” the possibility of the Japan Boxing Commission allowing Filipino boxers who are not ranked in the top twelve being permitted to fight in six or eight round bouts in Japan,” added Natanielsz.

Bebot Elorde, Rubillar’s manager, was quoted in as saying that said his relative had ” gone out drinking with some Filipinos” to celebrate Rubillar’s smashing fifth round knockout victory over Japan’s Ken Nakajima and was not with them when they checked in at the airport.