By Nick Giongco
The Elorde Sports Center in Sucat, Paranaque, a sprawling property put up by boxing immortal Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde in the 1970s, continues to operate even while the country is gripped by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But not every Tom, Dick and Harry is welcome to lace up and work out during these trying times.
Marty Elorde, son of the late Hall of Famer, told the Manila Bulletin that only those who are managed by his older brothers Johnny and Bebot are allowed to train.
The Elorde family is in unison with the government’s attempt to put the deadly virus in check.
“Only our boxers get to train inside although not everyone is working out regularly. Many of them are just training because there’s no other thing to do (because of the lockdown),” said Marty, who used to manage Manny Pacquiao alongside a Japanese friend way back in the early 2000s.
But those who do even wake up in the morning to jog around the massive complex that also houses a cockpit arena, swimming pool, tennis court and a popular drinking joint which Marty himself manages.
Marty currently manages over 10 boxers, including one-time world title challenger Edward Heno, who lost in October last year in Southern California.
But with the boxers unable to do their jobs, Marty doesn’t have a choice but to look after their needs.
Marty isn’t waiting for government help to arrive and has made sure there is food on the (long) table three times a day and a roof over their heads.
Actually, Marty was in the thick of preparations to bring his best fighters to the US so they could stay active and be on the radar screen of big-time promoters.
“I have everything all planned already but the pandemic prevented me from pursuing it,” Marty said.
“Times are hard and nobody has any idea when exactly this is going to end so we can all go back to our normal lives.”
In the meantime, Marty is taking it one day at a time.
“I remind my boxers to train even if there is no scheduled fight because once this is all over, it will be easier for them to book fights.”
Marty added: “How can I get them fights if I don’t see them training?”