By James Slater: Two fighters who had previously been languishing in what was thought to be permanent retirement, made quite amazing returns to the ring over the weekend: in former WBC super-middleweight champ Robin Reid of England and former Manny Pacquiao conqueror Rustico Torrecampo of The Philippines.
40-year-old Reid’s return was one we at least saw coming, seeing as how “The Reaper Man” is to take part in the next installment of the exiting “Prizefighter” tournament; with Reid going for the light-heavyweight trophy next month. On Saturday night, on the under-card of the upset Ermano Fegatilli scored over defending European 130-pound champ Stephen Foster Junior, Reid improved to 40-6-1(27) as he bagged a four-round decision over the oft-beaten but rarely stopped Jamie Ambler.
Reid will have removed at least some of the ring-rust his near three-and-a-half year absence will have given him. The next installment of “Prizefighter” is set for March 23rd in Liverpool.
As for 38-year-old Torrecampo – the man who will always be at least a footnote in boxing history due to the way he stopped a young Manny Pacquiao inside three-rounds way back in February of 1996 – he made a winning return on Friday, after a long 14-years away from boxing! The former flyweight, campaigning at 117-pounds, improved to 15-8-5(8) as he stopped the debut-making Jovanie Bualan, also of The Philippines.
The win may not mean anything in the grand scheme of things, and it’s impossible to say how far the Filipino southpaw can go – but due to his claim to fame, Torrecampo may attract some fan attention. And both Torrecampo and his new manager, Lito Navarro, are excited to be back.
“I’m back!” Torrecampo told The Star after his win. “I want to show 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 [Pacquiao] but I want to keep fighting.”
The fighter’s new manager says his charge is in great shape.
“He’s like a miniature Evander Holyfield,” Navarro said. “He’s built like a tank. He’s solid at 117-pounds. The fans mobbed him like he fought in the main event! He’s back as a full-time fighter. I’m taking care of him. He’ll probably next fight in April, maybe a six-rounder.
“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 20’s.”
It will perhaps be interesting to see how far Torrecampo can go. If he’s as in shape as his manager claims he is and if he has enough drive, he might be worth paying attention to. Torrecampo was the first man to defeat Pac-Man, but now he wants to earn a name for himself with other victories.