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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

DE LA VEGA: IT’S SOUL-SEARCHING TIME FOR ABAP LEADERSHIP

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
10 Aug 2016



With the disappointing news that Philippines’ best bet for a boxing medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Rogen Ladon going down in an unexpected defeat today and Charley Suarez tanking on the first day of boxing competition, perhaps it is time for the amateur boxing leaders in the Philippines to face the truth and decide what is best for Philippine boxing. That painful decision may include changing all those in the leadership including Ricky Vargas, Ed Picson, Patrick Gregorio and the whole coaching staff.

Don’t get me wrong. Vargas, Picson and Gregorio plus the whole coaching staff had done wonders for Philippine amateur boxing but they had been doing the same for years (8 years?) with no tangible results that can be described as truly on the international level.

True, they have guided our boxers to many international wins but those wins were mostly on the regional levels and they never happened when they counted most - in the world stage of the Olympics.

Perhaps it's time for soul searching and find new leadership with different and fresh ideas.

But most of all, when these new people are found, more intensive government support must be provided to them. The quest for Olympic gold medals cost money and if the country truly wants to get even one, the government must do more than what they have done before. It’s not fair to solely depend on the wonderful patron of the sports Sir Manny Pangilinan. We must have full support of government and build more and better facilities scattered nationwide.

We commend ABAP President Ricky Vargas for recognizing the need for new blood.

Vargas in his text message to that veritable writer, Ronnie Nathanielsz stated: “Maybe time for new leadership partner. Time to go for me.”

We could not agree more.

However, we do not agree in his suggestion to give the ABAP Presidency to Manny Pacquiao. The rookie Senator and boxing icon may have the best intentions for the Filipinos in his heart, but that does not mean he will be the best for the position. At this point and time Pacquiao has too much on his plate already. It is unfair to give him more responsibilities. Let’s just leave him to his legislative duties.

The best thing to do is create a search committee made up of all the stake-holders in the sport like promoters, trainers, coaches, ex-world boxing champions and boxing journalists.

Pacquiao being a boxing champion can chair the committee. However, let us not include other politicians for the simple reason that they may have a different agenda from what we are trying to accomplish.

Give the committee the responsibility to find the best guys to lead amateur boxing. And when they find them, give the new leaders autonomy to do what is best for the sport and support them with the proper budget to get their job done. But, they must be made aware that they must produce within a stated period of time.

Now more than ever is the best time to buckle down and get these things done. Philippine amateur boxing has been on the gutter too long. We need to change all of that- and that should be done now!

Come to think of it, I really think we must revamp the whole sports scene and change our thinking. Perhaps we should focus more on the sports we have a chance to win medals and not waste money on those that we know but refuse to admit, where we do not have a chance base on our God-given physicality.

Photo: Sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan (L) and ABAP president Ricky Vargas.


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