FORMER Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (Abap) president Roilo Golez passed away on Monday morning due to heart attack. He was 71.
Known more for being a public servant and a former national security adviser, Golez also happens to be a sportsman and a boxing champion during his stay at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“Hilig niya talaga ang boxing,” recalled national coach Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco.
At Annapolis, Golez was a brigade boxing champion for four straight years to become the first out of the 14 midshipmen to achieve the feat since the Academy was first established in 1845.
His love for the sweet science led him to become Abap (now Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines) president after the EDSA Revolution in 1986 until 1988.
Under Golez’s watch, Abap launched its popular ‘Boxing at the Park’ program aimed at discovering potential national team members.
During his time as Abap president, the country won two golds, two silvers, and a bronze during the 1987 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Olympians Leopoldo Cantancio and Leopoldo Serrantes accounted for the Filipino pugs’ two golds in the lightweight and light-flyweight divisions, respectively.
“Naabutan niya rin yung Vicera brothers, Ray Suico, Nelson Jamili, Ernesto Coronel,” Velasco said of the members of the national team who fought during Golez’s term.
But it was a short-lived stint as Golez was also busy with his work as executive of Asia Brewery back then.
“Hindi siya masyado nagtagal kasi nasa Asia Brewery nga siya,” said Velasco, older brother of Olympians Roel and Onyok. “Pero maayos naman pamamalakad niya, marami ding competitions abroad yung mga boksingero natin at nakakakuha rin naman ng mga medalya.”
Golez, who served a six-year term as congressman of Paranaque, was later replaced by former Manila Mayor Gemiliano ‘Mel” Lopez as ABAP head in 1988.