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Pacquiao wants more protection for professional boxers

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Filipino boxing superstar and Congressman Manny Pacquiao of Saranggani urged on Thursday the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) to come up with guidelines that would ensure the safety of professional boxers competing here and abroad.

”I would like to suggest for the GAB to conduct at least two meetings with all the boxing promoters in the country to thresh out problems confronting the professional boxing,” Pacquiao said in a Senate inquiry on the state of the professional boxers.

Pacquiao made the statement during the Senate committee on games and amusement investigation into the death of local boxer Karlo Maguinto last Feb. 3, and the attack of the angry Argentine fans on the team of Filipino fighter Johnriel Casimiro after beating Luis Alberto Lazarte of Buenos Aires last Feb. 11 in Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

On the case of Maguinto who died of brain hemorrhage five days after his fight with countryman Mark Joseph Costa last Jan. 28, Pacquiao suggested that GAB should come up with policy and guidelines giving a boxer at least a two-month rest before fighting again.

”When I started fighting, I used to fight twice a month and now I realized that it is not advisable specially if the fight went to a distance. So, a fighter should fight every other two months or three months if he suffered knock down,” Pacquiao said.

Based on GAB records, Maguinto fought eight times in 2011 including two victories via stoppages before he fought Costa last Jan. 28 in Caloocan City.

The boxing promoters initially disagreed with Pacquiao’s proposal but Pimentel advised the GAB to coordinate and discuss with the promoters the suggestion which would allow boxer to rest his body before returning to the ring.

”In the United States, a boxer is required to rest at least three months before he fights again and I think we should adopt it here,” Pacquiao said.

On the case of Casimiro, Pacquiao advised the GAB to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as well as with the Philippine embassy in the country where a Filipino boxer has a scheduled fight.

”The GAB should make sure that the Philippine embassy in a particular country will be informed that our boxer will be fighting there so that our boxer will get some protection,” Pacquiao said.

GAB official Ramon Guanzon welcomed the suggestion of Pacquiao but “our problem is budget”.

Pimentel said there is no need to come up with a new law but only administrative actions on the part of GAB, the country's regulating body for professional sports.

Gello-ani suggested that all activities of the promoters be properly guided by the GAB.

”All activities of the promoters should be professionalized so that everybody involved in every fight would be guided accordingly,” Gello-ani said.

by: PNA




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