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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But ...

By Ed de la Vega, DDS

Tue, 02 Jun 2009

When the brouhaha about the Villanueva-Macas fight first surfaced on the internet a few days ago, my gut reaction was to simply dismiss it as a ?given? - one of those fight results that every now and then would surface for all the wrong reasons.

But after seeing the YouTube posting of the fight and the decision of the referee who is either entirely incompetent or perhaps(?) ?on the take?, I thought I would write this piece

If nothing else, it will create more noise so that hopefully the GAB people particularly my friends Commissioner Angel Bautista and boxing head honcho, Dr. Nasser Cruz will find it more urgent to come up with an investigative report and the proper actions to address the situation.

Incidentally, what?s taking so long for the GAB to act on this matter? Does it really have to take many days to do so?

Based entirely on the video, there was no clear evidence that an accidental head butt occurred. In fact, it was clean punches that resulted in the cuts. Macas was clearly seen checking for blood after the punches were landed by Villanueva. He did not have any cut prior to that.

Therefore it seems the referee, Delbert Pelegrino made a mistake.

His mistake, if due to his incompetence should result in a sanction. He should be required to have continuing education on the proper ways of arbitrating a fight. Further, he must seat out and not mediate a fight until he completes such additional training.

If investigations reveal that his decision was based on incompetence, the ruling should stand. After all, there was no intent to do anything wrong.

If nothing else, it should be the promoters who should be blamed for picking an incompetent arbiter and Team Villanueva for agreeing on those picked.

However, an immediate rematch must be ordered by GAB within120 days and with a more competent referee and judges to boot. Also, the choice of such people must be agreed upon by both parties, Team Villanueva and Team Macas. And, the fight must be held on a neutral place like perhaps Cebu or Manila.

On the other hand, if investigations prove that Pelegrino made the decision based on anything else other than incompetence such corrupt practices to assure a Macas victory, then he should be permanently banned and no longer be allowed to arbitrate any GAB sanctioned fight.

No excuses and no second chances!

Those involved with Pelegrino should be given a hefty fine plus suspensions from future participation in any boxing activities in the country. A three year suspension and a half a million pesos fine should do the trick and wake everybody up.

Further, the GAB must refer the case to proper authorities in the justice system. If further investigations by the justice system reveal a criminal intent to subvert the fight results, an action that is clearly a conspiracy, jail time must also be assessed on Peregrino and those involved with him. Monetary damages must also be awarded to Team Villanueva.

Now, many may disagree with my recommendations as being too harsh for the ?crime?.

That is well and good. After all we are all entitled to our own opinions.

However, if the country is to once and for all eliminate such injustices in the sweet science, some one must be made as an example.

And, there is no better time to do that than now!

The question is:- Are the proper authorities motivated enough to do such?

I should hope so because fight results like the one involving Villanueva and Macas are exactly the very reason why boxing in the country has not progressed beyond where it is now.

Changes are warranted. And, they must be done now!

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