Former Pinoy world champ Malcolm Tuñacao happy working as garbage collector in Japan
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 19, 2020 03:08 PM
Malcolm Tuñacao won the WBC Flyweight World Championship back in 2000 (Photo: wbcboxing.com)
Back in 2000, way before the peak of the popularity of Pinoy boxing's biggest names like Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire Jr., and Donnie Nietes, a Cebuano named Malcolm "Eagle Eye" Tuñacao was riding high as the WBC Flyweight World Champion.
The then-22-year old Tuñacao defeated and dethroned Thailand's Boonsai Sangsurat to become the WBC's new flyweight king. If fact, it was a young Pacquiao that Sangsurat TKO'd to capture that very title.
In 2014, Tuñacao competed in the final fight of his career, a technical decision win over Ryuta Otsuka, to finish with a 35-3-3 professional record with 20 wins via KO/TKO.
Now, 20 years after his world title run, Tuñacao is based in Kobe, Japan and works as a garbage collector.
While most people would see his current status as a fall from grace - from world champion prize fighter to blue collar employee - Tuñacao is pretty content with where he is in life.
Speaking to Chino Trinidad on an episode of Buhay Boksingero, "Eagle Eye" shared how his life has been like after his boxing career.
“Okay lang yun, basta ang importante, yung trabaho ko, hindi ako nang-lalamang ng tao, maganda yung trabaho ko, marangal na trabaho. Sa Bisaya, ‘tinarong na trabaho," Tuñacao said of his job. “Importante may trabaho, tapos marangal na trabaho. Para sa akin, masaya na ako sa trabaho ko ngayon eh, hindi mahirap. Wala akong inargabyado na tao, wala akong tinapakan na tao, nag-sisikap ako dito para sa pamilya ko.”
Tuñacao said that in Japan, one of the cleanest countries in the world, garbage collectors are seen in a different light than in most other places.
“Mataas ang tingin sa amin, sa aming mga basurero…maraming tao na nagbibigay ng tubig, nagbibigay ng pera minsan. Kanina, binigyan kami ng pan (Japanese for bread) tapos kape.”
“Yung ibang tao, pag-kita sa aming mga basurero, masaya sila. Nirerespeto kami, yun ang importante," he added.
Tuñacao, a native of Mandaue City, says that he owes a lot to Antonio Aldeger, the man behind one of the Philippines' premier boxing stables: ALA Boxing.
“Hindi ko makalimutan yung, kasi bata pa ko nag-simula, eight years old, hanggang 38, 30 years ako sa boxing. Hindi ko makalimutan, mahirap yung pinag-daanan ko sa boxing. Kung hindi ako kinuha ni sir [Tony] Aldeguer dati, baka wala na ako.“
He also mentioned Peñalosa as one of the driving forces behind him ultimately turning pro.
"Masaya na ako dito sa trabaho ko at nagpapasalamat ako sa mga tao na tumutulong sa akin, lalo na kay Gerry Peñalosa, isa din yun na nakatulong sa akin. Kung hindi dahil sa kanya, hindi ako nag-pro.”
Check out the full interview with Tuñacao HERE