ONCE the Philippine Boxing Commission (PBC) is created, professional boxing will no longer be under the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB).
Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III said his proposed senate bill to form a boxing commission to ensure the protection of all Filipino boxers will be working independently under the government just like the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and GAB.
“The boxing commission will take all the responsibilities from the GAB when it comes to the welfare of all local boxers,” Pimentel told the Manila Times in an exclusive interview Sunday during his visit to some Filipino boxers at the Elorde gym in Meralco Avenue in Pasig City.
The PBC, he said, will focus only on boxing while the GAB will have time to focus on other professional sports. The PBC could also help amateur boxers if needed, Pimentel explained.
Pimentel, who did not blame though the GAB for the various incidents that transpired early this year in professional boxing, said that the boxing commission will try to find a way to protect the interest and welfare of Filipino boxers in the country and even abroad.
He guaranteed the boxers during his visit in the Elorde gym that he will look for a private insurance firm or private sponsors to handle the boxers’ financial problems. The boxing commission is also entitled to finance the boxers.
“We will find a way to help our Filipino boxers in terms of their pension and retirement benefits,” said Pimentel, admitting also that most private insurance companies in the country are not interested to insure boxers.
Pimentel, who is the vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and Sports, is the Philippine Boxing Commission’s author in the Senate, while Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao serves as his counterpart in the congress.
“There are so many negative things that happened and we do not like that to happen again just like the death of Maquinto, our boxer facing a different opponent and recently the incident in Argentina,” he said. “All those things should not happen again.”
Carlo Maquinto died last January after sustaining blood clot in his brain after his fight in Caloocan, while the promoter of Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista was fooled by a boxing Mexican agent after sending a wrong non-competitive boxer identified as Genaro Garcia.
Last February, Filipino Johnreil Casimero won the International Boxing Federation’s light flyweight title against Luis Lazarte in Mar Del Plata in Argentina, but an ugly riot sparked after the bout where most disappointed fans stormed the ring and attacked Casimero and his promoters.