Arce-Lumacad: Ken Smith Apologizes to the Filipino People

By Benjie Varella – Right after the fight of the Mexican warrior Jorge Arce and Fernando Lumacad of the Philippines last weekend at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic city, New Jersey, all boxing sites were swamped by harsh and negative comments due to the Filipino’s poor performance. lthough Lumacad showed top boxing skills during the first two rounds of the bout, he was decked on the third round by Arce due to an overhand right that landed to his jaw..

Yes, he was floored by Arce but anyone who has seen this match would agree that Lumacad could have easily gotten up. He may be dazed but a lot of boxing analysts including the fans present during the fight believe that Lumacad just decided not to beat the count.

It was also reported that after the fight, Lumacad approached Arce and asked the Mexican if he could take home the robe of the three-time world champion with his autograph signed on it.

With such action, many believed that Lumacad was simply afraid of Arce and is a big coward for not continuing the fight.

Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum who was present during the fight was actually disgusted and feels that Lumacad just decided to quit the fight, saying that what the 23-year-old kid did was not the Filipino type who would fight with a big heart.

Cited was pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao who never backed out, started from the scratch and worked his way up. Boxing fans from the Philippines were disappointed by Lumacad’s performance, who ironically comes from the same town where Pacquiao grew up, General Santos city. Their hopes of producing another world champion vanished when he gave up and now has the nickname of “The Quitter”.

It’s also absurd that Lumacad means “walk” or “walked away” in Filipino language translation!

Even Filipino pound-for-pound boxer Nonito Donaire expressed disappointment on one of his blog in another boxing site.

With this, tons of Filipino fighters are calling out on Arce to redeem and prove that the people of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and Pancho Villa are not “quitters”. The first one to call for a challenge is world rated Filipino boxing prospect Drian Francisco (17-0-13Kos). The match could happen on September 6 if Arce’s camp bites the bait.

Lumacad’s manager Ken Smith of American Boxing Academy who decided to base his stable in Digos City, Southern Philippines to help young promising Filipino boxers in a letter is asking for the forgiveness of boxing fans especially to the Filipino people.

In a letter, Smith pleaded to everyone to stop the hate campaign against Lumacad and instead point all fingers on him for the blame.

Here is an excerpt of that letter;

“I will ask the Filipino for your forgiveness for what happened to Lumacad in Atlantic City USA, this past weekend...Fernando was overmatched and it is me who was responsible for this. I am the sole reason that Lumacad was in this situation, and Fernando does not deserve the blame for this.... Regardless of what happened in the fight that night.... I plead to you that Lumacad is not a coward, and was simply overmatched and caught by a very hard punch from a great former champion. The fact that Fernando did not rise from this clear knockdown is the difficult part for all Filipinos to except, and I understand this.”

Smith stressed that his boxer was simply hurt and that the kid could have fought on if he was only able to.

He also explained that Lumacad, the breadwinner to his poor family knows what opportunities there is ahead of him by winning against Arce but the Mexican is just too strong for the kid.

“...due to my mistake Lumacad is now been tagged as a quitter... I can tell you the boy is heartbroken and ashamed of his performance... Lumacad will return to the Philippines in a few days to face his countrymen I just hope and prayed that the Filipino will find it in their kind hearts to forgive us... I offer no excuses, we just simply failed.... Fernando will try to reprove himself to the people of the Philippines in the future.”

The kid should be given the benefit of the doubt or at least fight a top class fighter like Arce to redeem himself. If not, his career could be over. Lumacad should start “walking” on the right path this time to be able to achieve his goal for himself and his family.

Article posted on 01.07.2009

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