In marking his 54th year as a successful promoter, matchmaker cum laude Bob Arum noted the sad fate of boxers who have not earned and saved enough while caught in the crippling grip of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“You have to look at the losses in these young men’s careers, they’re not being able to pursue their activities,” Arum, 88, stated.
He said he hopes they’re capable of staging events, but does not “know when this will be over.”
Major world events have been put on hold, including the April 25 unification fight of Filipino Johnriel Casimero, the WBO bantamweight title holder, against unbeaten Japanese sensation Naoya Inoue, the IBF and WBA champion.
Casimero has expressed desire to leave training in Las Vegas and return to the Philippines, saying there’s nothing certain when his bout with Inoue would take place. He said he’s threatened by the virus infection that continued to surge in the United States.
Here in Manila, there’s uncertainty and pockets of restive crowds demanding help from government following the lockdown in Luzon and movement restrictions in other areas.
Big sporting events, topped by the professional Philippine Basketball Association, have been put on hold indefinitely.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial has assured staffers, technicians and other affected PBA personnel of assistance during the lockout.
As the height of uncertainty, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), regulatory body of professional sports in the Philippines, announced it has notified government agencies about the fate of boxers, martial arts practitioners, who have been rendered without work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GAB Chair Abraham Mitra said his agency has submitted a list of 1,133 affected boxers, martial arts fighters, including trainers and matchmakers, to the Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Social Welfare and Development .
The GAB hopes the affected personnel would similarly get assistance through the Social Amelioration Program.
“These individuals are unable to exercise their profession due to the imposed community quarantine,” GAB stated.
The GAB operates directly under the Office of the President.
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