GAB seeks assistance for pro boxers, fighters
MANILA, Philippines – The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) seeks to include pro boxers and martial artists among the beneficiaries of the government’s social amelioration program.
Noting that Filipino fighters' scheduled bouts have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra on Wednesday, April 1, wrote to Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Department of Social Welfare Development Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista regarding the plight of these licensees totaling 1,133.
“These individuals are unable to exercise their profession due to the imposed community quarantine and hence are devoid of a source of income,” said Mitra in the letter also signed by GAB commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mar Masanguid.
“The P5,000-P8,0000 social amelioration program will help them survive these hard times in our nation’s history.”
Affected by the cancelation of boxing and fight events throughout the country and around the world are 805 boxers, 157 boxing trainers, 79 mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, 48 MMA trainers, 32 muay thai fighters and 12 muay thai trainers.
International Boxing federation super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and chief trainer Joven Jimenez expressed their support to GAB’s initiative, primarily intended for boxers who have yet to make their mark and merit substantial purses.
Ancajas’ ninth title defense against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, originally set Saturday, April 11 (Sunday, April 12, Philippine time) in Las Vegas got canceled as a result of the coronavirus scourge. He and Jimenez are holed up at Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, waiting for the 12-rounder to be rescheduled.
“We’re hoping for its approval,” said Jimenez in Filipino. “Our boxers are in dire straits because there are no fights."
Prime bantamweight prospect Carl Jammes Martin (15-0, 14 knockouts) also lauded GAB’s move. – Rappler.com