Protecting our boxers’ interests
THE Games and Amusements Board, which is under the Office of the President and is currently headed by Ramon “Monju” Guazon, is mandated to protect the interests of our boxers, managers and promoters.
But it continues to fail miserably in its task and indeed compounds the felony with its overall incompetence and a disposition to favor certain individuals in the sport for whatever reasons.
Take the recent expose by Asian Fight Scene about the plight of boxers Ernesto Saulog, the newly crowned
World Boxing Organization International bantamweight champion and his opponent Alie Laurel, who figured in the title fight in Kunming, China last May 8.
Credit the internet site for their diligence in probing the anomaly, where Saulog received a purse of a measly $340, while Laurel reportedly received $500.
We took up the issue with our good friend, World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman, who promised to send an additional $1,000 to each of the two boxers which, in itself, is an insult to the local matchmaker Brico Santig, who is known to be a favored one by the GAB and its boxing division head Dr. Nasser Cruz.
At the same time, president Sulaiman said the WBC will forego the sanction fees for the title fight promoted by China’s Liu Gang, who helped out when the fight had to be rescheduled in Kunming.
We updated Sulaiman about the activities of Santig, as well as the failure of the Games and Amusements Board to protect our boxers and welcomed his commitment to constantly monitor what’s happening in the Philippines.
Like his late esteemed father, Don Jose Sulaiman, Maurico has a great deal of affection and respect for the Philippines, but that respect is being eroded more so in our country, where the GAB is totally remiss in its duties.
How in the name of sanity could the GAB have approved the fight contracts with such miserable purses unless they were in connivance with Santig, who arranged the fight?
As Sulaiman pointed out, fighters in Mexico earn $500 for a four-round bout!
Santig’s claim that both fighters agreed to the small purse in order to make sure the fight would take place doesn’t hold. At the very least, the GAB Boxing division head, who conveniently enjoyed a junket by serving as fight supervisor, should have disallowed such pittances as purses.
Asian Fight Scene earlier quoted Chinese promoter Liu Gang, who said he shouldered the airfare and accommodation of the boxers, as well as some Filipino officials, including Dr. Cruz and Jerold Tomeldan, who was the referee for the fight in which all three judges had Saulog the winner by identical scorecards of 96-92.
Sulaiman had earlier condemned the pittance of the purses, saying it was “not acceptable for a championship fight,” besides being “morally unacceptable,” while WBC executive Mauro Betti described the purses as “ridiculous and offending.”
Of course, President Aquino is too busy enticing congressmen and senators to pass the BBL into law with many allies in Congress ready and willing to sacrifice principles, which makes it harder still to expect the GAB to follow time-honored principles in looking after the interests of our fighters.