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List of Articles by Ed de la Vega, DDS


 

DE LA VEGA: WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

By Ed de la Vega, DDS
PhilBoxing.com
03 Aug 2017



In my over four decades doing dentistry, there must have been nothing that I have not seen in so far as dental issues are concerned. But still, I can’t help but feel concerned when I see people come to my offices with badly broken down teeth. There absolutely is no reason to get to such a situation because most dental problems are totally preventable if only people take time to address the issues before they get to a point of no return.

When the situation occurs with boxers that come to my offices, I really get far more concerned because the negligence potentially cost lots of health issues and more importantly for them and their handlers, lost revenues.

Admittedly, I am not totally familiar with the inner workings between boxers and managers. But, I am aware that managers are partially responsible for the health care of the boxers, including dental care.

Unfortunately, 99.9% of boxers I see at my offices when they come to have a mouthguard fitted have dental issues, particularly the contenders who just landed in the US.

I often wonder how these guys can get through the health clearance requirements for boxers seeking approval to fight abroad from the Games and Amusement Board in the Philippines. Doesn’t GAB have dentists to assure that boxers have good oral health before they are allowed to go fight abroad?

Paging Commissioner Mitra. Will your honor please look into this?

Case in Point:

Recky Dulay. When Dulay was scheduled to fight Jaime Arboleda at the Forum at Inglewood, CA three weeks ago, his trainer, Rodel Mayol brought him to my offices to be fitted with a mouthguard. When I saw him, I told Mayol and Dulay that he needs lots of dental work right after the Arboleda fight so that we can take care of his issues before any other fight offer comes.

But the excitement of Dulay’s victory over Arboleda kinda masked the dental needs of Dulay until he started having a bad toothache a week ago. Dulay’s dental problem should have been addressed immediately after the Arboleda fight to allow him more time to recover. But I can’t really fault the guys as they were enjoying their victory.

Their procrastination however led the a lost revenue. Apparently, there was an offer fitting Dulay again against Gervonta Davis on August 26th as an undercard of the May-Mac circus. But Team Dulay can’t take the fight that would have paid a huge $50K, because Dulay can’t train due to a severe toothache.

Two days ago, they finally came to my office and I had to do a tough surgical removal of a badly infected wisdom tooth. Dulay will be grounded for a week. He can’t spar until next week and there is not enough time to get in shape and meet Davis in good physical shape and proper mindset. Otherwise, the results may end up similar to their first fight.

Going back, were Dulay was properly checked by the GAB people before they allowed him to travel, he would have addressed his dental issues in Manila and there would have been no need for me to address them here in LA.

With that he would have had that chance to fight Davis again because he hardly sweated against Arboleda and resuming his training would not have been too difficult.

I hope I am dead wrong, but Dulay’s dilemma could be traced to poor policies and practices at the GAB Philippines. Fighters will go to a fight even when they have health issues because that is their job – to fight at all cost.

Managers should take care of fighter’s health issues including dental health issues before they present them to the GAB for a permit to travel abroad. There is no excuse not to do so.

GAB, on the other hand must assure that fighters are in complete good health and have no dental issues that would jeopardize their health, well-being and pockets before they issue them permits to travel abroad.

It is part of GAB’s job to do so!

Post Script: It does not cost an arm and a leg for GAB to implement more stringent rules regarding a fighter’s dental health. In fact, they don’t have to put up their own in-house dental clinic and hire an in-house dentist (although that is the best way to do it to avoid corruption similar to the CT Scan issues in Batangas). They can contract with reputable dentists to check out the fighters and issue clearances that will be part of their application for a permit to fight abroad.

Photo: Recky Dulay (L) is being congratulated by his trainer Rodel Mayol after Dulay finished off Arboleda in Dulay's last fight. The author (R), acting as a cutman, looks on.


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