Sunstar Davao Editorial: Crabs in our midst
POOR Steve Grandeza. After bringing honor not only to Davao City but the entire country as well by winning the World Kickboxing Federation International or WKBF world super welterweight crown, somebody comes out questioning the legitimacy of his hard-earned triumph. Just as the fighter and his supporters were busy celebrating his latest ring conquest in Dubai, a cynic suddenly appeared from out of nowhere and spoiled the fun by accusing Grandeza of being a fake world champ.
Of course, Grandeza just laughed off the allegations, which supposedly came from a certain Phil Malaya, who deluged the email addresses of the local media with an open letter whose contents are full of malicious accusations against the new world champ. The letter-sender do not even seemed to exist and was just using a pseudo name to fire away his or her grumbles.
Whoever is this letter-sender, he or she must come out into the open and lodge a formal complaint, or write the WKBF a formal letter to question the validity of Grandeza’s world-title conquest. Sending open letters while hiding behind the cloak of anonymity is cowardice.
Until now, the WKBF nor the camp of Al Hassan Okine, the competitor from Ghana whom Grandeza defeated to win the world crown, have not come forward to challenge the legitimacy of the Davao City fighter’s title-clinching victory.
The Grandezas are educated citizens of Davao–starting from the father Edgardo “Bing” Grandeza to sons Steve and Bryan– and they won’t do such act like fabricating stories and fooling the people just to earn honor. The worst thing that could happen to Steve Grandeza and his team was being duped by the promoter into thinking that the fight was a championship one. But then again, they are not that fool not to know this and, since the WKBF sanctioned the match, Grandeza is now a world champion after winning the bout fair and square.
With that, Grandeza earned the admirations of the people of Davao and rightly deserved commendations rather than condemnations. He fought for flag and country and must therefore be honored for what he did.
Reading again the open letter, it appears that the writer is envious of what Steve Grandeza has achieved. This is one thing bad about Filipinos, we try to pull down somebody who is already up there, someone who has attained something in life. We still have crabs in our midst.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 15, 2010.
SUBJECT: OPEN LETTER ON MR. STEVE GRANDEZA’S WORLD TITLE
The Dabaweños were so proud upon hearing of the news about the new World Super Welterweight Champion of the WorldKickboxing Federation (WKF) in the person of Master Steve Grandeza, of the Davao City-based Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do- Subakh Do Federation, declared by the television and local news of Davao City .
It was a great honor for our country, particularly Davai City , having a World Kickboxing Champion. It could be the first of its kind in Philippine sports history. And thus Master Steve Grandeza the “world Champion”, his father and trainer Master Bing Grandeza and the whole Grandeza family should deserve a congratulation for the job well done, hoping that it was true.
Unfortunately, however, as I searched and explored into various internet websites and youtube channel for the much-publicized WKF– K1 Kickboxing Championship event held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in which Steve Grandeza allegedly dethroned “world champion” Al Hassan Okine “Van Dam” of Ghana under KO Promotions of Dubai, I began already to suspect the news report.
This is very sad indeed to note, but based on both websites http://www.wkfkickboxing.com and
http://www.worldkickboxingfederation.com, the said kickboxing title event was calendared, sanctioned or ever happened at all. In which case, neither Steve Grandeza nor Al Hassan Okine has become a WKF champion, and the said world event was a misnomer.
Those who have gone to Middle East know that any enterprising Joe, Dick and Harry can organize sports events in Dubai , to ease the boredom and homesickness among contract workers of various nationalities. Through various sports internet website, anyone in the country can gain access of participating by requesting a formal invitation from the sports organizers of the host country, which also serves for the acquisition of visa.
Although there was a news item concerning the said match in http://www.pinoy-ofw.com and http://www.rbancruz.blogspot.com, written by self-confessed ex-classmate of Steve Grandeza in the University of the Immaculate Conception, Davao City, but just the same they were misinformed too. Nothing about it can be found in the official WKF websites. it stated four satellite members, namely theWorld Kickboxing Gym, Mejiro Gym Amsterdam , Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Francisco Gebauer New York, USA with Certificate No. 05152010. There is no mention of KO Promotions in Dubai and Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do- Subakh Do whatsoever.
The last kickboxing tournament suctioned by WKF held in United Arab Emirates was in Dhabi on April 17, 2010 yet. The most recent event suctioned by WKF was held on September 18-19, 2010 in Ottawa , Canada . And the next WKF event will be on October 24, 2010 at Osaka , Japan . The list of WKF events did not mention of any kickboxing event held in Dubai . Although the KO Promotions poster showed that it was a WKF championship event. But even children nowadays can make a lay out of it easily and put it in the youtube channel to appear authentic. Well, it happens everywhere.
I understand why our people thirst for another sport hero like Manny Pacquiao, but he is a true hero in the real sense of the word, duly certified world champion by the different world governing bodies of boxing. He passed through many years of sacrifices, trials and process of eliminations before he captured his first world crown, like the other athletes in various sports. I never heard of any true Filipino Asian or world champion ever personally chronicled and faked his own title victory. It was always their respective governing body or the host country that made the announcement as a matter of propriety and humility.
On the other hand, Steve Grandeza along with his family concertedly called for a press conference in dramatic fashion, upon his arrival in Davao City from five thousand miles away in Dubai . With his “championship belt”, a well-scripted action and speeches, he made himself an instant hero and celebrity. It was very amazing that he just defeated an unknown guy from Ghana , Africa and become a world kick-boxing champion, without passing through the usual process of eliminations in Southeast Asian Region. Asia, Asia- Pacific, Pan-America, Europe and Middle East . It is shrouded with mystery because he has not even won any official title from the POC-member Philippine Muay Thai kick-boxing Federation which governs the sport in the country.
If Steve Grandeza’s world=class achievement was true, there was no reason that the national media in Manila would not know. There was no news about it prior to the world title event. I don’t know why. They would have had jumped on him upon his arrival in NAIA for that scope news, and he would had been congratulated by no less than President Noynoy Aquino himself. He did not and this made him very suspicious. He seemed to prey on the gullibility of the Dabaweños.
I wonder how some local media came out with the publicity ahead without giving the benefit of doubt. They should have verified the truth about Steve Grandeza’s self-serving report before taking into action. It seemed that some local media took the report of the Grandeza family hook, line and sinker like Bible truth. They are now morally obliged to ferret out the truth and rectify the disinformation made to the public. If true or a hoax, let the people judge.
And finally, please understand that I have no slightest intention to ruin any reputation. I am only protecting the interest and welfare of the citizenry in Davao Region, especially the government and private sectors supporting RP sports. For it is the duty of the media and well-meaning citizens to convey only the truth to the people, no matter what it may cost. We can start from here.
The success of the present dispensation rests upon the honest and sincere Filipino people, no matter how big or small we are in our society.
Thanking you for this opportunity you have given me. May our Almighty God bless and guide us all!
Concerned ex-Pinoy Athlete
Thank you very much to all media groups who have been constantly keeping track on us. We are indeed so grateful for all your support. And we thank you for forwarding the “OPENLETTER ON STEVE GRANDEZA’S WORLD TITLE” to us. It is indeed a very kind gesture giving us the chance to be heard. I have prepared this letter in response to the open letter received on behalf of the team and everyone who have been affected by this issue. Below are facts and information that will help clear things out.
Title of Event : KO7 “Moment of Truth” http://www.inventdubaievents.com/?tag=sports-promotion
Date & Time : October 1, 2010 8:30pm
Venue : Chi “the Lodge” Dubai, UAE
Organizer : KO Promotions, Dubai http://www.kopromotions-dubai.com/
Governing Body : World Kickboxing Federation – International or WKBF http://www.internationalwkbf.com/index.html
Title : Welterweight World Title (vacant title)
Is it sanctioned? : Yes! The president Ms. Lucy SussenTui of WKBF herself was there to supervise the entire competition process. She is who you’ll find in the right side of the WKBF website http://www.internationalwkbf.com/index.html, and to prove her presence are our photos with her http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1642766950610&set=a.1642766190591.91207.1279921019
Background : Before the October 1 fight happened, Steve was first matched with Najmeddin “the scorpion” Alhaddad http://www.fansofk1.com/fighter?fID=147. Steve was supposed to be a challenger of his WKBF World Title. It was supposedly scheduled together with Rey Boom-Boom Bautista’s fight in Dubai entitled “Philippines VS The Rest of the World” http://www.invent-uae.com/pages.asp?ko6-ko-promotions-major-events-and-launches organized by KO Promotions Dubai in April of this year. But unfortunately Steve & Najmeddin’s fight didn’t happen. With the determination of KO Promotions to give Steve a break, they then matched him with another contender George Micouris http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1465020227941&set=a.1465019547924.2064614.1306589076 scheduled in May of this year. They were supposed to fight for the welterweight vacant world title. Again, due to some reasons, the fight didn’t happen and there was a need to find another fighter again. Then here came the Al Hassan Okine http://gulfnews.com/sport/other-sports/okine-ready-for-world-showdown-1.644310. They were originally scheduled to fight in July, however due to circumstance, the fight was moved to October 1. And yes, the fight did happen http://gulfnews.com/sport/okine-fails-to-pack-a-punch-in-fight-against-grandeza-1.690785
Are there qualifications for one to earn the privilege to fight for a world title? Yes, there is. At least 20 wins out of 25 fights. Even if Steve didn’t appear yet in any international fights, KO Promotions & WKBF believed in his reputable records for him to be considered.
From the write-up:“On the other hand, Steve Grandeza along with his family concertedly called for a press conference in dramatic fashion, upon his arrival in Davao City from five thousand miles away in Dubai . With his “championship belt”, a well-scripted action and speeches, he made himself an instant hero and celebrity.”
RESPONSE: We didn’t call a press conference and it wasn’t scripted. It was the initiative of media groups who by all honestly we are constantly in contact with. That I think is teamwork. If you haven’t kept track with all the preparation and the series of competitions we have lately, I am so sorry. But it is not even our fault at all. Local media groups that are in deep interest to our endeavors are regularly updated in show of our appreciation to their support. It is each ones’ pride (us, our family, friends, the media) to be a part of achievement, and to share with everyone not for the purpose of bragging but, to inspire for others to look up to. That I think is the essence of being a society. We are interconnected and we support each other. A million miles away of updating is not even impossible this time (no need to elaborate).
From the write-up:“If Steve Grandeza’s world-class achievement was true, there was no reason that the national media in Manila would not know. There was no news about it prior to the world title event. I don’t know why. They would have had jumped on him upon his arrival in NAIA for that scope news, and he would had been congratulated by no less than President Noynoy Aquino himself. He did not and this made him very suspicious. He seemed to prey on the gullibility of the Dabaweños.
RESPONSE: Our flight is Davao-Singapore-Dubai & back, so there’s no way we land in NAIA. It is both the preference of KO Promotions and the team. And I am so deeply sorry if we have disappointed you. The event or us may not be as prestigious as how you are trying to project on your mind if that’s what you are trying to imply. Being received warmly back home is more than enough.
We could not lie on this and to the people we are so thankful for. Yes, anybody could say that it was too early for a world title fight for Steve, but who could refuse such opportunity? For us, the team, it is indeed a blessing. We just hope that we could share to you the feeling of being there.. the support of the people back home and the applause of everyone for the performance we had.. It is every competitors dream and longing.. to know how it feels being there at the center while your national anthem is being played after the award is given.. How we wish to make each one feel how it is to be grateful that we are blessed and that we are Filipinos.
We are here for those who believe in us. Thank You Very Much & God Bless Us All!
Respectfully & Sincerely,
The world champion wishes to thank his coaches Bryan Grandeza and Edgar Alan Paulino, father and mentor Master Edgardo J. Grandeza, mommy Cynthia, sister Angela, son Ice, PR Manager Myla Belle Barandog, and consultant
The World Kickboxing Federation KI super welterweight (146 lbs.) belt is at stake on October 1 at the Chi Lodge Dubai, UAE that is both eyed by Davao’s Steve “Red Knight” Grandeza and Al Haddad “Van Damme” Okine of Ghana.
The Red Knight is supported by Phoenix Petroleum Phils., Pagcor, NIS Motors Corp., Rockspec Gears, Davao Bayan Construction & Hardware Supply Inc., Davao City mayor Sara and vice mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Team members (left-right) coach Bryan Grandeza, fighter Steve Grandeza, instructor Edgardo Grandeza(Instructor), PR manager Myla Belle Barandog, coach Edgar Alan Paulino.