Ben Delgado, who joined Freddie Roach in the corner when Manny Pacquiao made his rousing United States debut in June 2001, passed away Tuesday morning in San Jose, California.
According to relatives and those who attended to Delgado during his finals days, he had been suffering from a kidney ailment.
Delgado was 86.
Over two decades ago, Delgado was just among the ten people who made up Pacquiao’s entourage during the landmark win over Lehlo Lodwaba at the MGM Grand.
Joining Pacquiao back then were his business manager, the late Rod Nazario and his Bay Area-based son Boying, manager Marty Elorde, lawyer Sydney Hall, cutman Ruben Gomez, pro fighter Vernie Torres, Roach and two sportswriters from Manila, this writer included.
Also showing their support and gracing the fight were San Francisco-based Boots Aniel and son Jason.
After Pacquiao’s victory over Ledwaba, Delgado would still join the corner as an assistant in the corner.
And when Pacquiao fought and drew with the rugged Agapito Sanchez of the Dominican Republic in November 2001 in San Francisco, Delgado was still in the corner.
Even though Delgado would eventually lose his spot, he would still be seen attending Pacquiao’s fights in the US.
Before becoming a member of Pacquiao’s entourage in America, Delgado also had one world champion: Rolando Pascua.
Delgado called the shots when Pascua scored one of the biggest upsets in the fight game when he knocked out Humberto Gonzalez of Mexico in Los Angeles in December 1990.
Pascua’s reign as World Boxing Council light-flyweight king was short-lived.
Ryan Largo, a Bay Area-based Filipino and avid Pacquiao supporter, was among those who looked after Delgado at the hospice.
“The remains will be cremated and the ashes to be brought back home to Davao,” Largo, his voice cracking, told Daily Tribune.
During Delgado’s final days, his wife Nene looked after him while supporters of Pacquiao from Los Angeles—Valerie Gonzales, Donna Villamor and Neil Hilario—also dropped by to pay their respects to the well-loved boxing man.
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