By Nick Giongco
The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) instructed the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to confer with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) over the safety measures needed for the possible resumption of boxing and other professional contact sports as the country gets ready in the post-lockdown era.
“There is a sense of urgency on our part because this (boxing) is the only means of livelihood of the boxers,” said GAB chairman Baham Mitra.
After a discussion with a few local promoters last week, Mitra crafted a guideline that was meant to convince the IATF to take a close look into the possibility of allowing fights to take place.
The PSC is at the forefront of efforts to bring back sports after going into hibernation last March as cases of COVID-19 started to spike.
Aside from the PSC, the Department of Health is likewise playing a vital role in deciding whether a particular sport can be played.
Initially, a few sports – golf, badminton and recreational running – have been given the go-signal to commence although no significant events are taking place just yet.
Owing to its nature, it’s going to take more than just a few meetings for boxing to be given the green light to resume its activities.
A three-way video call with the PSC’s Marc Velasco and the DOH is tops on the GAB’s agenda to determine if progress can be made.
“Unlike national athletes (who receive monthly allowances from the government), pro boxers don’t get anything if they don’t have scheduled fights,” said Mitra.