Pinoy fighter Eric Kelly draws inspiration from younger brother Edward and Manny Pacquiao
Santino Honasan on Aug 04, 2017 01:05 PM
ďNainspire din ako sa kanya, na i-try ko nga uling gawing yung ganun na ginagawa ko noon.Ē - Eric Kelly on younger brother Edward's success (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
It’s been over a year since Baguio’s Eric Kelly stepped inside the ONE Championship cage.
Prior to Saturday’s featherweight showdown against former ONE lightweight king Kotetsu Boku in Macau, Kelly was on the wrong end a 44-second knockout at the hands of heavy-handed Mongolian Narantungalag Jadambaa back in July.
Even before that, he found himself getting choked out by lightweight contender Ev Ting in Malaysia.
It’s safe to say that 2016 wasn’t kind to “The Natural.”
At 35 years old, Kelly is coming off back-to-back stoppage losses and a lengthy layoff.
While others may consider calling it a career after such a rough stretch, the man who once found himself tearing through competition in his first eight fights is right back on the saddle and ready to ride again, and he didn’t need to look to far for inspiration.
During Kelly’s downward slide, his younger brother Edward, a pioneer member of Team Lakay, was on the upswing, picking up three straight wins in 2016, all by stoppage, contributing to the impressive unbeaten run that the famed Baguio stable had that year, and establishing himself as a top contender in ONE’s featherweight division.
During Kelly’s prime, he served as inspiration for his younger brother to keep on fighting. Now, the tables have turned, and Edward has become the source of strength for his Kuya Eric.
“Parang nagising din ako dun.” Kelly said. “Nainspire din ako sa kanya, na i-try ko nga uling gawing yung ganun na ginagawa ko noon.”
Kelly added that another source of inspiration for him was none other than eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, who at 38 years of age, continues to fight for world championships.
Pacquiao recently competed in his 68th professional boxing bout.
“And then Isa pa sa naginspire sakin na talagang lalaban na uli ako, of course, legend natin na si Manny Pacquiao.” Kelly said. “Kahit ganun yung edad niya, gusto parin lumaban”
“Kaya ako, mas matanda sakin si Pacquiao, ay, pwede pa pala. Yun yung mga inspiration ko.” He added.
On Saturday, Kelly takes on a 38-year old Boku.
In his first fight back in over a year, Kelly hopes to be able to leave behind a bitter 2016 and start building on a brighter 2017 and beyond.