Powell Balaba raring to restart 30-loss career at Pride of Bohol
BOHOL, Philippines – Personal records mean a lot, if not everything, to a professional boxer.
While most don’t mind a few losses here and there, a losing streak can sometimes spell the difference between continuing a career or contemplation of retirement.
However, when getting between the ropes is a man’s only way to put food on the table, sometimes, the pain of losing just numbs away in time.
Such is the case with 30-year-old flyweight Powell Balaba, who currently holds a professional record of 9 wins overshadowed by a staggering 30 losses.
Despite this eye-popping record for all the wrong reasons, the Sierra Bullones, Bohol native is giving his career one more chance back home in the upcoming Pride of Bohol event at Tagbilaran City on Saturday, August 31.
Fighting this time for Vladimir Boxing Promotions bannering the undefeated Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (19-0, 14 KO), Balaba is eager to defeat fellow Filipino fighter Charlie Malunpangue (8-4-3, 6 KO) and prove his career is far from over.
“Yung plano ko papakita ko talaga yung best ko sa paglaban,” he said. “Ipapakita ko ang exciting fight ngayong darating na August 31. Talagang pinaghandaan ko po ngayon yung laban namin sa Bohol.”
(My plan is to give my best in the fight. I’ll show an exciting fight this August 31. I really prepared well.)
However, before his chance at redemption came about, there was a dark time in Balaba’s career where he didn’t think he would win again.
“Noong 2015, pumunta po ako dito sa Maynila. Sabi ko sa manager ko, magtrabaho na ako kasi nangangailangan talaga ng kita para mabuhay,” he said. “Tapos dito kahit dalawang araw lang [na ensayo], lalaban ako. Si Victorio Saludar, nag-rematch kami nun. Mga linggo lang ata yung training ko.”
(Back in 2015, I came here to Manila. I told my manager, I’ll work because I need the money to survive. Here, I fought even though I just trained for two days. I had a rematch with Victorio Saludar and I just trained for a couple of weeks.)
For 3 years from 2014 to 2017, Balaba was fed to more conditioned fighters just so he could cash in some checks. In that span, Balaba lost a grand total of 16 straight fights, with thoughts of retirement plaguing him all the way.
Right before his downfall, however, he mustered a five-fight winning streak, 3 coming off knockouts and one by way of corner stoppage.
It’s this flash of brilliance that made Vladimir Promotions believe in Balaba, and come Saturday, he’s out to prove their leap of faith is all worth it.
“Papatunayan ko na bubuhayin ko yung daming talo ko sa boxing,” he said. “Bubuhayin ko po 'yun.” (I’m out to prove that I’ll rise from all my losses in boxing. I will rise.) – Rappler.com