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Johnson, Farah mirror contrasting lives
By Lito delos Reyes
Wed, 12 Jun 2019
DAVAO CITY -- While both are hankering to get noticed in the crowded star-studded heavyweight division, American Ron Johnson and Bolivian Saul Farah, combatants in the June 15 Thrilla in Davao GBO world heavyweight championship, live somehow quiet private lives not akin to what they are currently involved in.
His nickname “The American Dream” has long been the standard pursuit of every American – immigrant, native or whatever – and Johnson likes the tag. Ron, the World Boxing Federation holder of three belts, likes to spend most of his time with his wife and 4 kids (3 boys and a girl) and dotes on them.
He engages in government contracting having put up his own business with partners Julian Contreras and Moses Miller and indulges in the music industry, maybe the reasons why he has few recorded fights to his credit since turning pro in 2004.
“I’m into music recording in partnership with Ray J. Hey, remember the name J Roy…he could be the next star,” Johnson predicted. Farah, the heavyweight kingpin of Bolivia and recently crowned WBC South American heavyweight titlist, speaks only Spanish but does not consider it a drawback.
He realizes though that he needed another career to turn to just in case. Unmarried and with 4 kids with his girlfriend to breed and feed, he is now trying to fulfill his passion to fly small planes.
“He will earn a pilot’s license by the end of the year,” bared Luis Tapia, Farah’s manager. Ron, as reflected by his muscular and athletic physique, played football during his high school years as a middle line backer and running back.
“I also played basketball,” said the Cleveland, Ohio native who favors the Toronto Raptors to snatch the NBA Finals series over the defending titleholder GSW.
Modest but not shy, Saul says he was enamored by soccer as most boys in Bolivia – and in the entire South America – play the sport more passionately than boxing and basketball.
Ron, 34, takes pride in his young girl – Mckenna – who performed her dancing recital last June 8 (Saturday).
“I missed that one as I was already here June 4 in Davao City.” Farah, 36, doesn’t hide the fact that there is widespread poverty in Bolivia.
He says boxing professionally afforded idle Bolivian men to earn bread to feed their families.
Nicknamed “The Phoenix Assassin,” Saul is a very patient and persevering man if you consider his 95 fights since turning pro in 2004 as a yardstick. (LDR)
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