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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

THE DAPIDRAN SAGA – A VIEW FROM AN OUTSIDER

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
23 Aug 2015


Dapidran.
Recent news indicates that a young and very promising Filipino fighter named Jonel Dapidran (6-0-0, 3KO) this early in his career is already deeply involved in the muck associated with “promotional and managerial issues”. Dapidran is a cousin of the famed Filipino spit fire, Manny Pacquiao.

But then again, this is not something that is uncommon in the sport given that many times, fighters, particularly those from third world countries, are sadly young and under educated and so are placed in a very disadvantageous position not only because of age but also because of their deficient knowledge and full understanding of the “business” part of the sport.

All they know is to fight whoever is placed in front of them on top of the ring. As long as they go home with a few bucks, its okay with them without really realizing that maybe they deserve more than what they were paid. Therefore, many times they end up on the wrong side of the stick that ultimately results in their careers ending up in shambles.

It is not surprising that Dapidran ended in the mess he now is in. From my perspective several errors occurred that eventually led to it.

Error No. 1: Apparently Dapidran was signed by Nonoy Neri of the MP Promotions. But reports are not clear as to what kind of contract it was. For “managerial services” or “promotional services’, either or, or both. Unfortunately according to reports, he signed without any adult guardian or his parents present. What made the incident worse is he was said to be a mere 16 years old when he signed up. That in itself makes the “signing” invalid although it could be entirely possible that there were no sinister intentions on the part of Neri when he signed him.

Error No 2: Neri is an excellent trainer and a good boxing man. But he is not a lawyer and I am sure he is not knowledgeable about the ins and outs of a valid contract. He should have sought out a good lawyer to determine if the process he had Dapidran go thru is legally valid knowing that the kid is just 16 years old.

Error No 3: Apparently a copy of the contract was filed with the Philippine Games and Amusement Board. (GAB) But GAB was napping on the job. Had GAB gone over the contract with a fine-tooth-comb they would have easily seen that the contract is a suspect since Dapidran is a mere 16 year old kid and being a minor, he was not legally allowed to sign contracts. Had GAB alerted Neri about the “validity” of the contract, none of these issues could have occurred!

Error No. 4: Dapidran was introduced to Sammy Gello-ani, one of the better known promoters from the Philippines. As an experienced promoter, Gello-ani should have sought out Neri and asked his permission in writing to introduce Dapidran to other promoters who may be able to help advance the career of Dapidran. But apparently he never did. Perhaps in his rush to help the kid, he forgot to call or write Neri.

Error No. 5: Gello-ani in turn introduced Dapidran to Samson Lewkowicz, a South American promoter who is well known in the boxing world. Lewkowicz, recognizing that Dapidran may be another Manny Pacquiao perhaps because of his pedigree and a decent fight record immediately signed Dapidran to a “promotional contract” without apparently clearing the issue with Nonoy Neri in writing. It could also be entirely possible the contract between him and Dapidran is also invalid because Dapidran is still only 17 years old and not considered as an adult. Unless of course, his parents signed-off on the contract.

Error No. 6: Dapidran could have himself asked Neri for his formal “release” in writing since he didn’t have enough meaningful fights under his “contract” with Neri or at the very least informed him that he plans to sign a promotional contract with some else. For all we know, Neri would have released him. But as I mentioned, perhaps the kid didn’t have the necessities to realize that. Or the kid was just misinformed into thinking that he can sign with anyone without informing Neri much more getting a “release”. If so, by whom?

We all know why this mess is happening. It’s about the good almighty dollar everyone will make if Dapidran advances like his cousin Pacquiao. It’s pure business and nothing is wrong with that! But that is a big “if”! Or it could also be entirely possible that someone really cares about Dapidran. In my opinion, it’s more of the former.

This whole mess could have been easily avoided if people were just a bit more conscientious in their dealings. Now-a-days, it’s so easy to get in touch with people. We have cell phones galore and the internet to boot.

Why these tools were not used to their full limits is mind blowing. A simple phone call or a short e-mail could have done the trick.

Dapidran would not have been in this mess this early if only folks who are experienced in the ins and outs of boxing sought out each other to clear out any issues that may result to such mess. In medicine we believe that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Could these folks not use the same idiom to avoid expensive litigations and possible unsavory ending for the careers of boxers?

As one of my patients who is a long time boxing fan indicated to me, “boxing is a dirty mess and it’s a dog eats dog business”.

You know, he may be entirely right!

But be that as it may, why couldn’t Lewkowicz and Neri sit down and hammer down details without involving lawyers and go hand in hand and help Dapidran advance his career?


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