CEBU

Limpag: GAB’s protest worked

Fair play

AFTER questioning the outcome of the controversial fight between Siridech Deebok and Romshane Sarguilla, the Games and Amusements Board got the best news possible after the WBC Asian Boxing Council orderd a rematch of the bout.

Not only that, it will also be WBC ABC that will assign the three judges, while the referee will be from the Philippines since the ref in the first fight overlooked a knockdown.

Bravo, GAB.

Had there been no action, GAB was prepared to stop sending fighters to Thailand and the loser of that would be Thai boxing. Pinoy fighters can fight everywhere and lately, the more preferred destinations has been Japan. Some have also fought in Australia, Russia, South Africa and Singapore, so there’s a lot of willing markets for them, not just Thailand.

I think this is the first time that a rematch has been ordered due to a protest filed by GAB, which has totally changed its identity when Baham Mitra took over. From an agency that was accused of being involved in human trafficking, not to mention looking the other way when questionable fights were being cooked, it has now become a pro-athlete agency.

From providing free medical to active fighters, to unmasking that scam where fighters submitted fake CT scans, GAB has changed the way it’s doing its business. And it’s a welcome change.

I grew up reading horror stories involving GAB and before Mitra’s term, I heard more horror stories from referees, judges and promoters regarding GAB.

Mitra has changed it, and this is one agency under the present administration that has truly embraced change.

Heck, their monthly meetings for rankings are even streamed to allay concerns of fixing. I remember one promoter telling me that GAB rankings are unreliable and unpredictable, with inactive fighters getting the top spots.

I hope the latest action by both WBC Asia and GAB will prod Thailand to end this notorious practice of hometown decisions. It puts the sport in a bad light. I know some fighters would love to have the distinction of having defeated a Filipino. But don’t you think it would be better if you actually beat him, not fix a fight against him?


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