By Nick Giongco
Boxing manager Joven Jimenez has a stable of 15 boxers, including International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, and a training staff of five trainers, and is already feeling the pinch of the severe effects of the pandemic.
While Jimenez attends to the needs of the boxers and trainers in
Magallanes, Cavite, he also looks after the people they cherished the most: their families.
“Aside from the boxers, we also feed their families,” said Jimenez, who shares the sentiments of countless other stables around the country.
“It’s very hard because boxing, like the other events, are put on hold,” said Jimenez.
Art Monis, who manages IBF minimumweight ruler Pedro Taduran, maintains that boxers and their trainers simply live off on fight schedules.
“They have no other job outside boxing,” said Monis, who has 10 stay-in fighters and a few trainers.
In the wake of this tight situation comes the Games and Amusements Board.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra has forwarded a letter to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) requesting that boxers and trainers be included in the government’s social amelioration program.
Based on the computation, individuals affected by the No Work No Pay policy should get between P5,000 to P8,000.
Over in the boxing hotbed of Cebu, the ALA Boxing Club is looking after the welfare of their fighters, including about 15 who have been unable to leave for home owing to the lockdown.
ALA Boxing chief Michael Aldeguer said food and shelter are provided for those who have remained.
Two-time word title challenger Edito ‘Ala’ Villamor, now the lead trainer there, insists that the poor are going to be the ones that will suffer from the continued work stoppage.
“The rich can survive but the poor and those who have jobs but who can’t work and won’t be paid will have a hard time,” said Villamor.
Brix Flores, a bronze medalist in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, welcomed
the GAB’s move to provide assistance to the boxing industry.
“That’s great news for pro boxing because we don’t know when boxing will return,” he said from the Queen City.
Mitra said only those with valid GAB licenses were included on the list of beneficiaries.
Aside from boxing, also out to benefit from the financial help are fighters and trainers from Muay Thai and mix martial arts.