It started as a dare during an evening party...but the end product was a huge event which drew in Davao City's expatriate crowd along with their Filipino friends, family, supporters, employees, colleagues and curious spectators.
KA-POW in Davao was an amateur boxing event held last May 27, it pitted two Davao City-based Americans in a three-round boxing match. The event was complete with undercards (all-Filipino), licensed referees, judges, beautiful ring girls, photographers, announcers, a boxing ring set in a big gymnasium- The Davao City Recreation Center (Almendras Gym)
The event was initiated by Joseph William "Joe" Magnotti, who has been boxing since 2011 taking up the sport as a means of losing weight.
"At first it was a dare, I was learning how to box but wanted an opponent to spar with, so I approached some friends. says Joe, a 37-year old Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) businessman. Originally from New York, Joe a third-generation Italian-American relocated to Davao City in 2009.
Dan and Joe are among a dozen of young foreign BPO professionals setting up shop in the City. Joe has several outsourcing companies that includes TryBPO and AdSense Flippers which he co-owns with another Californian Justin Cooke who is also based here in Davao.
Joe was a heavyset American weighing at 113 kilos when he decided to pick up boxing. Under trainer Nian Shiang Pe, He took up lessons at Marco Polo Davao and had weekly sparring at Smashville Fitness Center. With boxing Joe was able to slice 34 kilos, During the fight he weighed in at 79 kg.
Dan started training for boxing four months before the scheduled challenge fight. In contrast to Joe, the 6-foot Dan took up boxing just for the fight and the dare.
KA-POW the event
|Fight poster with Joe (left) and Dan (right)|
"I was only supposed to be a sparring match in a local gym, but it kind of grew and grew until we said, hey lets just put on a huge event." Joe said.
It attracted corporate sponsors like Premiere Condoms and FHM Vixens. Proceeds from the fight will be given to the Cancer Patients at the Southern Philippines Medical Center and the Math Literacy Project monitored by the UP Mindanao Community Development Extension Office.
The fight had 8 undercard matches pitting amateur boxers which meant that all the fights are three-rounders. The ninth fight featured the much anticipated duel between Dan and Joe.
In the first round, Dan and Joe were sizing up each other, Dan tried to use his longer reach to keep Joe at bay, Dan connected some jabs.
"We wanted to take the first round very easy, beat him up in the second and then pick him apart in the third." Joe recalls their strategy.
But fighting in front of spectators made Joe tense, he was easy target for Dan's jabs and when Joe tried to move in Dan would would grab Joe's head to prevent him from launching his body shots.
During my talks with Dan before the fight, he talked about fearing Joe's power which he built up during the months he zealously trained in boxing.
"It was an awesome experience." says Joe who admires Manny Pacquiao and Ray "boom boom" Mancini.
"I can see it becoming addictive, perhaps a yearly event." Joe tells me of his plans for another Ka-Pow. Perhaps this time he says he would like get some new blood in the mix from the expat community.
|After the fight- Daniel Christian with Ramir|
|Me with ring girl and FHM vixen Red dela Cruz|
|Joe with his TRYBPO posse|