The country’s professional boxing stakeholders are asking the Games and Amusement Board to loosen up some of the agency’s policies that limit opportunities for Filipino boxers.
Boxing promoter Johnny Elorde said promoters, trainers, and boxers will meet with GAB chairman Atty. Richard Clarin today (Wednesday) to have a dialogue with him and request to lessen the rest period of boxers before they can fight again.
Currently, boxers should have to wait for 45 days before they can see action again. “Masyado nang mahaba ‘yun kaya maraming boxers and nawawalan ng opportunities na lumaban uli agad,” said Elorde. “Bago naman lumaban iyan, kumplete pa rin naman ng medical approval from a doctor, so safe pa rin naman.”
“Sana mayroong mas thorough evaluation sa boxers at kalaban at hindi ‘yung sasabihin na lang samin na denied ‘yung laban namin sa abroad. We hope the new GAB chairman will listen to us,” he added.
There is also an existing policy that a Filipino boxer should have won two of his last three fights before he will be given a go signal to fight overseas.
That rule, however, is not viable all the time.
Some Filipino boxers, even if they are coming off a string of losses, are sometimes offered to fight foes who are either also coming from successive defeats or have lesser win-loss fight records.
Before Clarin’s appointment, then GAB officer-in-charge Ermar Benitez conducted a consultation with stakeholders, led by boxing promoters and the agency agreed to relax its rules so that non-rated Filipino boxers can fight overseas.
The GAB has decided to resume issuing a letter of authority to Filipino fighters with lesser credentials, but only after a thorough evaluation of their conditions and opponents.
Although the GAB has made the interim guidelines stricter to help ensure the safety of boxers, it also has incorporated stakeholder inputs designed to allow Philippine boxing to thrive both locally and internationally.
Putting a premium on health and safety, the previous GAB leadership has temporarily halted sending boxers abroad following heavy losses suffered by Filipinos.
With local promotions offering lesser cash purses, Filipinos are hunting for fights abroad, where the stakes are higher and more decent cash purses are offered.