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Boxing Commission set for approval


PhilBoxing.com




A law establishing the Philippine Boxing Commission (PBC) is in line for approval and with Sen. Manny Pacquiao as principal author of the Senate Bill No. 191, it?s a sure thing that the sport will get a much-needed shot in the arm when the government agency is finally created.

Pacquiao has pushed for the creation of the PBC since he was a Sarangani Congressman and filed House Bill No. 59 over three years ago to set up a ring authority, under the administrative supervision of the Office of the President, with the objectives of developing the sport and providing for the welfare and safety of professional boxers. Now that he?s in the Senate, Pacquiao is renewing efforts to pass the bill. With President Duterte?s support, Pacquiao is confident the PBC will be established sooner than later.

If and when the bill becomes a law, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) will surrender its jurisdiction over professional boxing to the PBC. That will leave the GAB to supervise all other professional sports in the country, including basketball, mixed martial arts and horseracing. However, there is a provision in the proposed PBC that three seats in the Board will be for GAB representatives.

The recommendation is the PBC Board will be headed by a chairman with six members. An executive director will be named to manage the PBC. The Board may also include individuals from the private sector and a nominee from the Department of Health, preferably a neurosurgeon familiar with medical cases that are pertinent to boxers. Boxing promoters, managers and matchmakers will not be invited to join the Board because of conflict of interest issues.

An annual budget of P150 Million will be earmarked for the PBC. A monthly pension of P20,000 is being proposed for former Filipino world champions recognized by the WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF. This will exclude former Filipino world champions recognized by other governing bodies like the WBF, WBU and IBO, including Rey Loreto (IBO lightflyweight), Edrin Dapudong (IBO superflyweight), Amado Cabato (IBO lightweight), Ronnie Magramo (WBF minimumweight), Dondon Sultan (WBF welterweight), William Magahin (WBF welterweight), Joselito Rivera (WBF superfeatherweight), Rolando Toyogon (WBU minimumweight), Orlando Villaflor (WBF featherweight) and Rico Siodora (WBF featherweight). Since the coverage is exclusively for professional fighters, it will not include former Olympic medalists like Onyok and Roel Velasco and Leopoldo Serrantes.

The PBC will set aside an amount for death benefits, life insurance, livelihood opportunities and medical services. It will issue and renew licenses, clear fighters for overseas bouts and look into the concerns of trainers, cutmen, coaches and other stakeholders.

An area that the PBC will look into is the staging of more major boxing events in the country. Last year, Filipinos figured in 13 world title fights and only four were held here. The win-loss record was 9-4 and Filipinos won the four hometown bouts which were Nonito Donaire over Hungary?s Zsolt Bedak by knockout to retain his WBO superbantamweight title in Cebu last April, Donnie Nietes over Mexico?s Raul Garcia by technical knockout to retain his WBO lightflyweight crown in Bacolod last May, Jerwin Ancajas over Puerto Rico?s McJoe Arroyo by unanimous decision to win the IBF superflyweight belt in Taguig last August and Milan Melindo over Thailand?s Fahlan Sakkreerin, Jr. for the interim IBF lightflyweight throne in Cebu last November.

There is a plan to stage a Pacquiao fight at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena in Bulacan in November and it could be against Mexico?s Juan Manuel Marquez. The PBC will play a key role in making the event a reality if and when it is already established.

Retired professional boxers who are destitute and sickly will be beneficiaries of the proposed law. Former WBC superflyweight and WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa is being eyed to join the PBC Board because of his experience as a fighter, his success as a boxing entrepreneur and his knowledge of the nuances of the fight game.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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