Boxing is one of the number one sports aside from football in the Philippines in this generation. Boxing because of Manny Pacquiao while football because of team Azkals.
In the 2012 Olympics in London, with the Philippine Team of 11, we Filipinos were hoping to get even just one (1) medal. One of our strongest chances to clinch a medal was our representative in boxing, Mark Anthony Barriga. Sadly, he didn't make it after challenging with Birshan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan with a close result of 16-17.
Anyway, this story is not about Barriga but about Onyok. Do you still remember him?
The last Olympic medal gained by the Philippines was won by Onyok, a Negrense.
Onyok, real name Mansueto Velasco, Jr., is born on January 10, 1974 in Bago City, Negros Occidental. He stands 5 ft. 2 in. high (1.57 m) and weighs 110 lbs. (48 kg). He is a Filipino boxer, comedian and trainer.
As a boxer:
He was one of the three (3) Filipino boxers who clinched gold medals in the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima, Japan.
He competed in the Men's 48-kilogram (light-flyweight) category at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He took home the silver medal which is the Philippines' only medal of the games. His older brother, Roel Velasco, is also a boxer who won the Olympic bronze medal in the light-flyweight category in the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Onyok's 1996 Olympics result:
ï‚§ Defeated Chih-Hsiu Tsai (Taiwan) RSC 1 (2:27)
ï‚§ Defeated Yosvani Aguilera (Cuba) 14-5
ï‚§ Defeated Hamid Berhili (Morocco) 20-10
ï‚§ Defeated Rafael Lozano (Spain) 22-10
ï‚§ Lost to Daniel Petrov (Bulgaria) 6-19
TRIVIA: The Philippines has won nine (9) medals in the Olympics since taking part in 1924 in Paris.
Out of the 9, 5 came from boxing: 2 silvers by Anthony Villanueva (featherweight) in 1964 Tokyo and the other by Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco (light flyweight) in 1996 Atlanta; 3 bronzes by Roel Velasco (light flyweight) in 1992 Barcelona, Leopoldo Serrantes (light flyweight) in 1988 Seoul and Jose Villanueva (bantamweight) in 1932 Los Angeles.
2 bronzes in swimming by Teofilo Yldefonso (men's 200m breaststroke) both in 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles; and another 2 bronzes in athletics by Simeon Toribio (men's high jump) in 1932 Los Angeles and Miguel White (men's 400m hurdles) in 1936 Berlin.
As a comedian/actor:
After the 1996 Olympics, Onyok later had a successful career as a comedian with his thick Visayan accent as trademark. He appeared in several sitcoms and TV shows from different networks with famous Filipino celebrities.
As a gym partner and trainer:
Maybe because of his love of the sport, fate has given way. He crossed paths with Swedish national Christer Bigander and his British partner Jonathan Thorp a couple of years ago while watching the Manny Pacquiao - Miguel Cotto fight in Las Vegas.
He was being offered to come aboard as an "industrial" partner with Bigander and Thorp, who were that time planning to construct a gym in Makati. Onyok provided only his expertise: designed the boxing gym, drew the training programs for clients, and supervises the trainers and those who want to be trained by an Olympian.
If you want to be trained by Onyok, visit him at the Team Insider Boxing Gym in Makati.
The gym does not only offer boxing but different sports as well like mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu and more. The other trainers are former WBF contender Jules Tagalog, former mixed martial arts champion Rodel Kid Orais, former WBC challenger Robert Rubillar, boxers Leonardo Jandayan bi fRoman Canto and Ricky Dulary, RP Paner, muay thai practitioner Adamson Torbiso and Mama Luz McClinton who is an ex-PBB housemate teaches bodybuilding, figure, fitness, sports conditioning and how to lose weight.
photos/source/reference: frombacolod.com | manilastandardtoday.com | insider.ph