In the world of boxing, where showmanship is commonplace, Roilo Golez is in a class all his own.
Aside from the fact that he shares a name with a former congressman, Golez is perhaps the first openly gay Filipino boxer. And he's proud of it.
"I'm showy," said Golez in Tagalog after he lost a unanimous decision to Lolito Sonsona in their six-round junior featherweight clash Sunday in Survival Instinct: Matira Matibay at the SM Skydome in Quezon City. "I don't hide it. Whatever you are is what you are. Don't hide it."
During his entrance Golez smiled and moved his hips around as he made his way to the ring, soaking up the cheers along the way. During the weigh-in on Saturday, he playfully tried to kiss Sonsona. He tried again a few times during their fight, drawing laughter from the crowd.
Sonsona wasn't fazed and took everything in stride. He went on to open a cut on Golez's face and knock him down in the sixth round en route to a dominant 58-55, 60-53, 60-53 decision.
Golez was gracious in defeat. "I'm fine. Even though my face got messed up a little, I'm still beautiful."
He also gave props to his opponent.
"I can really say that Lolito Sonsona is world-class and very good," Golez said. "But I did everything I could to finish the fight and mix it up so that the crowd wouldn't get bored. I had a hard time but it was OK. I can handle it."
He can also handle whatever your opinion is about him. Golez is not much of a boxer -- this loss drops his record to 16-20-1 -- although in fairness he is now a full-time trainer in Nueva Vizcaya and was pressed back into action just for this fight.
"I don't care," Golez said. "Whatever they say, I don't care. I'm just being true to myself."
He said he has not encountered an opponent who discriminated against him. Golez then turned around to show off a tattoo on his back.
"See this?" he asked, pointing with his thumbs. "'Only God can judge me. James Chapter 4, verse 12. 'There's only one law-giver and judge who will save and destroy. But you, who are you to judge your neighbor?'"
Golez seemed less concerned about being a pioneer in Philippine boxing than living his life by his rules. Perhaps because he's always known he's not the only gay boxer. "There are more, but they're not open about it," he said.
Being open and frank is something with which Golez will never have a problem.
"I'm true to myself. I'm not fake. That's all."