FEATHERWEIGHT prospect Peter Apolinar of the Omega Boxing stable has learned valuable lessons when he served as a sparring partner with no less than the three-division world titlist Naoya Inoue.
The 25-year-old out of San Pablo, Laguna was the sparring partner of the Japanese champion called “The Monster” in the early part of this year when Inoue prepared for his supposed fight against Filipino John Riel Casimero.
The highly-anticipated unification bout of Casimero and Inoue was unfortunately called off after it got affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns, leaving the two boxers to find their opponents elsewhere.
Apolinar (12-1-0 with 8KOs) brought with him the lessons from Japan and it showed on his last fight in the event dubbed as Kumbati 5 in Mandaue City, Cebu—the first professional fight card since the Covid-19 era.
Apolinar displayed good boxing skills on his way to a unanimous decision over Jetro Pabustan in a closed-door boxing event at the IPI Compound in Mandaue City organized by the Omega Pro Sports International.
“Malaking tulong sa akin ang experience ko as a sparring partner with Inoue, it was a confidence booster for me,” Apolinar told the Manila Times in an interview over the phone.
Apolinar served as a sparring partner of Inoue for about one month last Feburary, but even in a short period he learned many things from the Japanese boxer.
“Marami akong na learn sa kanya lalo na pagdating sa ibabaw ng ring .Natuto kaong maging pasensiyoso. Maghintay nang pagkakataon at pag andun na wag munang bitawan,” he said.
Aside from those valuable learnings inside the ring, Apolinar got some outside of it, particularly the exposure from the media.
“Bukod duon nakilala din ako bilang sparring partner ni Inoue, so malaking bagay narin sa akin yun,” said Apolinar, who turned pro when he was 19 years old.
Prior to his sparring stint with Inoue, he also served as a sparring partner to Filipino world champion Jerwin Ancajas for about two years.
Omega Boxing stable head coach Julius Erving Junco said in a separate interview that Apolinar is considered as the next face for the Cebu-based boxing stable.
“Next face of Omega Boxing gym. Very hardworking and athletic, has a good boxing IQ,” Junco said of Apolinar.
Apolinar’s dream is just like every Filipino boxers. “Siyempre, ang pinaka pangarap natin ay maging world champion,” he ended.