Jacob ‘The Flamingo’ Ng continues to entertain in honour of late friend
By Anthony Cocks
Flamboyant Australian lightweight champion Jacob ‘The Flamingo’ Ng 10-0 (8) added another belt to his collection with a sixth round stoppage of heavy-handed Filipino Glenn Enterina 14-5-1 (9) to claim the vacant IBF Youth 135-pound title at Southport Sharks AFL Club in Southport, Queensland on March 16 on an Ace Boxing Promotions show.
But the fast-rising star had to overcome a scary moment when Enterina dropped him with a hard right hand during the second frame of their 10-round fight.
“I don’t remember much of it,” Ng admitted to Maxboxing. “I remember dropping him in the first round, feeling pretty stoked, feeling pretty good. After that I blacked out because I obviously got caught in the second round. I don’t really remember too much after that. I only ended up watching it yesterday so I got a bit more of an idea of how the fight went.
“It was a tough fight. He had heavy hands. I got caught in the second but I found by the end of that round I was actually punching more and landing more on him that he was landing on me.”
The knockdown was a mere bump in the road for Ng, who quickly regained control of the fight and dominated the remaining rounds with his superior workrate and conditioning.
“I don’t have the craziest knockout power ever but what I do have is a very high workrate and I push the pace in a lot of fights,” Ng said. “A lot of people can’t match that with me and it breaks them down. I work the body a lot, I love smashing the body, so when I put the pace on and go to the body people can’t keep up and that’s what has stopped a lot of people.
“This fight my footwork has improved a lot. Even though I was hurt, my footwork was a lot better. When I sit down a bit more my punches are a lot stronger and harder so I’m finding it easier to catch people.
“I’ve dropped nearly all of my opponents and finished them by jumping on them and the ref stepping in before they get hurt too bad, so obviously the power is there. But I think a lot of my success, my stoppages come through my workrate and my pressure.”
Ng originally came to boxing through martial arts. As a 10-year-old he took up jujitsu and competed in the sport both nationally and internationally up until he was 18. When he was 15 he took up amateur boxing after asking permission from his father Stephen Ng – a capable middleweight who once held the Queensland state title and shared a ring with the likes of Daniel Dawson and Sonni Michael Angelo – before competing 28 times in the singlets and claiming a state title along the way. But a break away from the sport sent him on a downward spiral that saw him partying excessively and getting up to no good.
To set him on the straight and narrow Ng was sent to Thailand for a year to compete in Muay Thai. It turned out to be the making of the man.
“My dad is the most straight-edge person ever. He’s so black and white, he does things the right way, he does things how they should be done. Growing up I saw that. With his fighting he did everything right. He trained right, he ate right, he was just a good role model,” Ng said.
“We had our blues when I was a teenager. I was a bit of a troublemaker when he was training me, I’d just argue with him because I was a little shit. But I know he’s got my best interests at heart. We work well together to get me where I need to be.
“When I’m fighting he’s always telling me what I need to do to get the win, taking me where I need to go. He’s a legend, not just in the ring but in life in general. He’s always got my back, teaching me things every day, it’s awesome. He’s the man and I love him.”
While many modern boxers are guilty of coming up with their own nicknames – usually designed to promote their toughness or instil fear in their opponents – Ng was christened ‘The Flamingo’ the old-fashioned way.
“When I moved to Thailand there was a Scottish boy there named Jordan Coe. He looked me up and down when I first got there and said ‘Man, how are you going to fight Muay Thai? You’ve got legs like a flamingo!’,” the six-foot tall Ng recalled.
“He started Photoshopping my face onto pictures of flamingos as well, so that’s sort of how the name just stuck.”
And stuck it did. These days ‘The Flamingo’ embraces his boxing persona in every possible way, wearing trunks with pink trim, knee-high pink socks and dancing his way to the ring draped in an ostentatious pink feather boa.
“With the dancing to the ring, Jordan used to do that. My third day in Thailand I saw Jordan fight and the way he walked to the ring and the crowd went crazy. I’d never seen anything like it. They were up on their chairs, cheering and hollering, it was amazing. I wanted to bring that entertainment to my fights,” Ng said.
Behind the outgoing public persona there is a much more personal reason Ng holds the nickname so dearly.
“Tragically when I moved back to Australia Jordan passed away. It shook me up real deep. I was always doing it at the time anyway but it’s now more a show of respect to him and to continue his legacy as well,” Ng revealed.
“At the time he was a Scottish boy, younger than me, living fulltime in Thailand getting flown to Japan, Australia, Scotland, all through Thailand, living his dream, so I definitely fight to keep his memory and the dream alive.
“I miss him a lot but I know he’s always there. He actually gave me a little amulet to wear ahead of my first fight in Thailand and I wear it to every fight now. I wear it at the weigh-in too and I’ve been undefeated ever since he gave me that amulet. It means so much to me and I just keep punching on for him.”
The ambitious 24-year-old from the Gold Coast believes he has what it takes to mix it with the best in the world although he admits he has more work to do before he can make that a reality.
“I want to get to the top. My end goal is to be regarded as one of the best of all time. To win a couple of world title fights,” Ng said.
“That’s still a little while away but to even get to this point has been a long and hard grind. But now I’m fighting and training fulltime and train people on the side for a little extra cash, but I’ve got good sponsors behind me so I can just focus on training and fighting a bit more.”
Until he can achieve his world championship ambitions, Australian fight fans can expect to see more shimmying, more pink and more post-fight victories dances like his infamous rendition of ‘the worm’ after he claimed the national lightweight crown from Gaige Ireland in December.
See the infamous dance here: vimeo.com/309830256
“People either love or hate me,” Ng laughed. “That puts bums on seats.”