POUND-FOR-POUND — Good guy Gibbons gives Filipino boxers the chance to shine

If you’re a talented fighter nursing dreams of becoming a world champion, there is one guy you need to get in touch with.

If you’re a promoter who has got a bevy of promising fighters but with no strong connections to the guys who matter in the world of big-time boxing, you have to meet the fellow who makes things happen.

That dude is no other than Sean Gibbons, who heads MP Promotions and a sprinkling of other influential outfits in the United States that gives boxers from all over the opportunity they deserve.

Having trouble with your boxer’s stagnant world rating? Call Sean Gibbons.

Can’t seem to get the big breaks? Call Sean Gibbons.

Being given the run-around by a scammer, give Sean Gibbons a call.

You see, Gibbons is a do-it-all boxing man who is a big daddy to just about any major Filipino fighter.

He has got a deep knowledge of the fight game since he used to fight during his heyday.

But before you start conjuring up images of Gibbons battling it out with boxing’s marquee names, pinch yourself first.

Gibbons never achieved greatness as a boxer.

He was more of a pretender than a contender, having racked up a 14-7-3 win-loss-draw record with seven knockouts before finally calling it a day in 1996.

He never even fought in Las Vegas and instead showcased his wares in obscurity, hopping into one small town and city after another.

After spending his first five pro bouts in Oklahoma City, Gibbons brought his act elsewhere and in places he never knew existed: Hugo, Purcell, Waubeek.

A year before he retired in 1995, Gibbons, now 56, even traveled to Germany and fought and lost by knockout to local boy Ruediger May.

Two more bouts on American soil — the first in Des Moines, Iowa, and the second in Miles City, Montana — paved the way for one final stop in Denmark against Peter Madsen.

Gibbons would lose that by stoppage again and decided that enough was enough.

Pretty soon, Gibbons got himself doing odd jobs in boxing through a relative — uncle Pat O’ Grady — father to former world lightweight champion Sean O’Grady.

“I got the boxing bug from him. I would set up the ring, help sell tickets and train fighters… I started from the bottom,” Gibbons, born in Long Beach, California, said, noting that the first fighter he trained was heavyweight Wimpy Halstead.

Oftentimes, Gibbons “would jump in as one of the fighters in the card and I was able to travel the world.”

He also got aligned with Top Rank and credits Hall of Fame Bruce Trampler and fight coordinator Pete Susens as his mentors and takes great pride in his close association with eight-division legend Manny Pacquiao.

Gibbons actually came to the Pacquiao show rather late.

But his seven-year stint working for Pacquiao was the most memorable, saying it doesn’t compare with the 35 other years of involvement with boxing.

“Seven years I spent with him were better than the other 35 years,” Gibbons, who graduated from Simi Valley High, said.

Gibbons revealed that after Australian banger Jeff Horn elbowed and butted and wrestled his way in carving out a controversial points win in Brisbane in July 2018, “Pacquiao had pretty much been left for dead by some people.”

It was right at this time when Gibbons entered the scene as Pacquiao’s go-to-guy for meaningful fights while also providing other Filipino boxers the break they need to become successful.

Gibbons didn’t disappoint and was instrumental in striking a deal for fights involving Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman that resulted in a “tremendous run.”

The victory over Thurman would go down as an epic as it made Pacquiao the oldest to win a world welterweight crown in July 2019 in Las Vegas.

Now that Pacquiao has sailed into the sunset, Gibbons is dedicating his time and effort to the betterment of the other talents under MP Promotions, the Pacquiao-owned company that has majority of the country’s top ring talent under contract.

And this is where Gibbons wields his expertise and proof of his savvy can be seen on Jerwin Ancajas, Pedro Taduran, Rene Cuarto, Mark Magsayo and current two-belt world super-bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales.

Also under Gibbons’ care are Jonas Sultan, Vincent Astrolabio, Jade Bornea and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist and Asian Games silver medalist Eumir Marcial.

Though not every one of them managed to win a world title, Gibbons draws utmost satisfaction from the helping hand that he had extended to them.

“The most satisfying thing is to change lives of the fighters and take fighters who wouldn’t normally get these opportunities.”

Also, Gibbons points to Pacquiao as a reason why he was able to pull it off.

“I had the name Manny Pacquiao promotions and Manny Pacquiao was behind me but the biggest, biggest key was Al Haymon and he took my word for guys like Jerwin Ancajas, Mark Magsayo, Jonas Sultan and many, many others.”

And there is no stopping Gibbons from doing the same thing especially when his clients’ welfare is on the line.

A few months ago, Gibbons earned the ire of a state commission and got slapped with a ban.

Still, Gibbons swears it is his way of showing that he always got his clients’ back.

So how does he want people to remember him?

“I would like to be remembered as someone who gave his all, no regrets. Just you know, when I work with someone, I put all my heart and soul into it. I got suspended for five for screaming at referees but I would like to be remembered for a guy who always had his client, fighters and boxers’ back and that when we went at it, we gave it our all.”

If you end up going to war, you’d certainly want somebody like Sean Gibbons right by your side.

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