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Thursday, November 30, 2023

More opportunities for Pinoy boxers

Games and Amusement Board chairman Richard Clarin recently visited Thailand to watch Filipino boxers fight for regional titles.

It provided him a chance to assess and improve procedures for Filipino professional boxers wishing to fight abroad for better opportunities.

Regional titles are significant steps for world boxing titles, not to mention bigger fight prizes that would help lay out comfort to their families back home.

Countries like Japan, Thailand and, most recently, Dubai, have been offering more fight purses in dollars for boxers.

An existing rule under GAB stipulates that Filipino boxers should have won two of their three last bouts before they are allowed to travel and fight abroad.

And if they are coming off the ring with a knockout loss, they are not allowed to fight again within the next 45 to 60 days.

Local boxing promoters have been challenging these policies, claiming they limit opportunities for boxers.

There are times when foreign promoters send a particular offer to certain Filipino boxers but who cannot proceed because of these rules.

The GAB should really be flexible because boxers exert efforts and promoters spend resources for the training – parallel factors in professional boxing.

As long as medical clearances can prove a boxer can still stand up in the ring and the rules are fair and balanced, that cleared boxer should be allowed to practice his craft.

Rules like these, which slow down the progress of Filipino professional boxers, should not be cast in stone; implementors should exert time and effort in assessing every fight proposal, every match-up, and not just point fingers on the rules without thinking, and shutting the opportunity door.

GAB officials must do proper evaluation, meet the boxers themselves, their managers and trainers and give the go-ahead when there are beckoning opportunities that must not be ignored.

After successive losses by the likes of Jerwin Ancajas and John Riel Casimero, the latter stripped of his title, the Philippines is left with only one world major champion in Melvin Jerusalem who stopped Japanese Masataka Taniguchi in the second round to become the WBO world minimumweight – 105 pounds – title holder earlier this month in Osaka, Japan.

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