Espinosa to collect his prize money

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Former world boxing champion Luisito Espinosa is hoping that the family of his late promoter Rodolfo Nazario would finally pay him the prize money that was withheld from him 18 years ago after he successfully defended his World Boxing Council (WBC) world featherweight belt.

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The Court of Appeals (CA) recently released a decision in favor of the 47-year-old Espinosa. The boxer said that if ever he collected the money amounting to $130,349, he would use it to build a boxing gym in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

The said amount was the prize money, which was not paid to him, during his fight in Koronadal South Cotabato against Carlos Rios of Argentina on December 6, 1997 for the WBC featherweight title. Espinosa won against Rios via technical knockout.

“I hope they pay me because that’s a heard-earned money,” Espinosa, who is now working in Hong Kong as boxing trainer, told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I want a new life and build my own boxing gym in Tagum City.”

Espinosa added that he would seek help from his family on what to do next. “I don’t know what to do so far, but I will go home if that’s the only way to get my money. I would ask help from my brothers and sisters in Novaliches,” he said.

Espinosa said that he suffered emotionally for almost 20 years while living in the United States. He revealed that he got separated from his wife before leaving America last year.

“We decided to get a divorce. After that, she got married. I won’t return to America anymore. Life was very hard there and I suffered a lot,” he added.”

Espinosa recalled almost losing hope after the Manila Regional Trial Court junked his first complaint, which he filed in 1998. He then brought the case to the CA.

Espinosa is planning to return to Manila before the end of June or first week of July.

“I won’t settle for anything less but only for the exact amount. I will pursue the fight,” Espinosa concluded.

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