WAIT and see.
The Games and Amusement Board (GAB), headed by Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra, will take this stance when asked about the plan of Sen. Manny Pacquiao to create a new boxing commission tasked to perform the same role as the government regulatory body in professional sports.
“Let’s wait and see. If President Duterte gives his thumbs-up and signs it into law, we’ll follow. The law is the law,” said GAB Commissioner Mar Masanguid during the 7th TOPS “Usapang Sports” at the National Press Club in Intramuros yesterday.
Masanguid, one of the close advisers of President Duterte in Davao before his appointment as GAB commissioner, assured sports editors, writers and photographers from the county’s leading tabloids that everything will be taken into consideration before the law is signed.
One of the aspects that will be considered before the creation of a separate professional boxing body, according to Masanguid, is the budget.
“ I am sure President Duterte will take a close look and hear all sides first before making a decision. Foremost on his mind will be the welfare of the boxing community, including the pro boxers themselves,” explained Masanguid, who appeared in the weekly forum together with GAB Boxing Chief Jun Bautista.
Also present were NPC president Rolando Gonzalo, who took part in the lively discussion; and boxers Carl Jammes “Wonder Boy” Martin, Al “The Rock” Toyogon, Ricardo Sueno and Diomel Diocos.
Martin is set to defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia bantamweight title against Petchchorhae Kokietgym of Thailand at the Midas Hotel in Pasay City on Feb. 16.
Toyogon will put his World Boxing Council (WBC) Asia super featherweight crown against Ryusei Ishii of Japan at the Elorde Sports Center on Jan. 26.
Both Masanguid and Bautista take pride in their achievements at GAB under Mitra, saying even the World Boxing Council (WBC) recognized this work by awarding GAB as “Commission of the Year” in 2017.
“President Duterte fully supports the GAB and its mandate to look after the welfare of all professional athletes,” said Masanguid, noting the financial assistance given to GAB when it hosted the WBC Women’s Convention and Asia Summit held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last year
Bautista said GAB is closely coordinating with different stakeholders in boxing, encouraging them to promote more fights and help discover future Manny Pacquiaos.
“We have seen a lot of young and talented Filipino boxers during our visits in the countryside. We encourage promoters to take them under the wing and help develop them,” said Bautista.
“Sen.Manny (Pacquiao) will soon retire. But I am sure we have a lot of boxers ready to take his place,” he added.