BRANDON Vera has been away from the sport for a longtime that the usually confident heavyweight is feeling a bit jittery as he makes his return to ONE Championship.
That doesn’t mean he’s at a disadvantage though.
Vera remains firm that he won’t be growing through ring rust as he defends the ONE Championship title to dangerous Italian foe Mauro Cerilli (12-2) on Conquest of Champions, Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Kinakabahan. Kalawang, wala. Kung meron, sigurado pag natamaan ako ni Cerilli, mawawala rin yon,” said Vera, 15-7, who last fought in December 2016.
“I’ve been gone, so dun galing yung kaba. Pero yung sinabi ko noon, totoo pa ngayon. I would much rather die than lose in front of the Philippines. Di ko kaya yun,” he added.
Though already at an advanced age of 41 and despite his commitments as a movie star and television actor, Vera assures everyone that he’s in tiptop shape.
He said that he found a second wind in his career and claimed that he’s as motivated as ever to prove that he still has it.
“I am just as committed. I’m giving even more. I just want it more now, I am coming into this with a mindset of a challenger,” said Vera.
And even if he spent years focusing on showbiz, which included a high-profile full feature film with Anne Curtis, Vera said that he’s always been preparing.
“Showbiz here is hard. 18-hour day, ganun talaga. But showing up here, dealing with traffic, dealing with location sets, dealing with contracts, dealing with the grind. Now naiintindihan ko talaga,” said Vera.
“I work out every day. Every single day. I’m training twice a day, once a day. From a 48-hour shoot, diretso muna ako sa gym bago umuwi at matulog. Then I go back to the set. So am I ready after two years from being away from the center of that ring? Hell, yes,” he added.
It would have been easy to walk away and set sail into the fame of showbizness, but Vera believes that he’s too indebted to his fans to walk away.
That’s why he vows to give it all
“Dito, sa mga mukha niyo, on your smiles, when you say hello to me every day, naiisip ko...marami pa akong utang sa inyo kaysa sa ngiti lang,” said Vera.
“I owe you more than a smile. I owe you more.”