by Jim Bea Sampaga
This past July, Filipino American boxer Arnold Dinong made his pay-per-view fight debut in California, which he won with a unanimous decision, improving his record to an impressive 7-0 with 1 KO.
Born and raised in Ewa Beach, Dinong moved to Daly City, California in 2014 to pursue professional boxing. He made his professional debut in 2018.
Although he only started two years ago, the 26-year-old started boxing as young as age 8 at the Waipahu Boxing Club. He admits he didn’t like boxing at first.
“My dad introduced me to the sport because it was a dream of his to be a boxer. That didn’t happen because my grandpa (his dad) didn’t want to sign papers for him to compete in the ring,” Dinong shared.
“I was 8 years old when I started and I didn’t really like boxing, I just did it because my dad wanted me to. But once I hit the age of 13-14 years old I started to like it a lot.”
Since his move to the mainland, Dinong says he misses Hawaii, especially his family, friends and the Aloha spirit.
“I just miss everything about Hawaii,” he said. “Ain’t no place like home, Hawaii boy forever!”
Currently fighting at the featherweight division, Dinong and his team are looking to go down to super bantamweight in the near future. He is coached by Bruno Escalante, a retired Filipino American boxer who is originally from Sibonga, Cebu. They train together at the Aloha Time Boxing Studio in California.
Although his pay-per-view debut match was premiered in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dinong said the match had no live audience at the venue. They also took several COVID-19 tests and were quarantined in a hotel for two days prior the fight day.
“Didn’t really bother me,” the boxer said.
Moving forward, Dinong plans to advance in his division.
“As of right now, my future plan is to keep climbing the rankings in my division and one day, compete for a World Championship fight!”
When asked about his message to aspiring boxing professionals, Dinong emphasized the importance of having a great team.
“Have a great team who looks out for you, and just keep chasing your dreams! No matter how hard it is, keep going,” he advised.
“All the hard work, and sacrifices you put day in and day out will eventually pay off.”