PH BOXING MANAGERS, PROMOTERS ASK GAB TO REMOVE 2-OF-3 RULE
RANDY BRAGA (LEFT) & MERLITO SABILLO
SIXTY-FOUR Filipino boxers, who are currently rated by the Philippine Games and Amusements Board (GAB) are prohibited to fight abroad due to the present requirement that a boxer must score at least two wins out of his last three fights.
Among them include current Philippine featherweight champion Randy “The Master” Braga (lost-win-lost), Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) lightweight champion Rosekie “Kapre” Cristobal (win-lost-lost), Asian Boxing Federation (ABF) flyweight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo (win-lost-lost) and former WBF Asia Pacific featherweight champion Rimar “Terminator” Metuda (win-lost-lost).
“We have formally written a letter requesting the GAB to reconsider the 2-of-3 rule for the boxers to fight abroad,” said international promoter-manager-matchmaker Brico Santig of La Trinidad, Benguet.
The letter, which has already been received by GAB main office in Makati, has been signed by almost 250 boxing promoters, managers, matchmakers, trainers and professional boxers from all over the Philippines.
These includes the country’s top promoters and managers Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr. of Paranaque, Jim Claude Mananquil, Dexter Tan and Art Advincula of Gen. Santos City, Dino Olivetti of Binan, Juan Monis of Valenzuela, Jun Gandez of Batangas, Jennifer Javellana of Iloilo, Wowie Lalanto of Cagayan de Oro, Troy Agustin Jr. of Tarlac and Joven Jimenez of Cavite.
“We would like to inform GAB that we are now deeply affected by 2-of-3 Rule,” they said.
The letter stated:
“The Philippine ratings of the 64 boxers are useless because they still cannot fight in abroad and so they lost their opportunity to earn money or become an international or world champion.
“To cite an example, the loss-loss-win card in the last three fights which is within the 2-out-of-loss and maybe given a chance to fight for a regional or even world championship by a governing body for sport. It really depends.”
“In such case, since the 2-of-3 rule is in effect, we have thrown away the big opportunity for Filipino boxers.”
“In the world bodies of boxing, the top 15 rated boxers are qualified to fight for the world, international or regional championship belts. They don’t use the 2-of-3 Rule and only needed rated boxers to qualify to fight.”
“We urge your good office to be a little more objective, rather than subjective on the matter. If the record of the boxer, who is being invited to fight overseas, looks inferior, maybe your committee on the matter may evaluate the opponent of the boxer. There are many ways to see if the fight is not lopsided.”
One example is former world champion Merlito Sabilllo, who still cannot fight abroad in spite of winning his previous outing via a knockout against Indonesian Jack Amisa last May 27 in Bacolod City. Sabillo, a former WBO world minimumweight champion, lost 2 of his last 3 fights.
He first dropped a split decision to Riku Kano last May 8, 2016 in Sanda for the interim OPBF minimumweight title then bowed to Ryuya Yamanaka by a unanimous decision last November 11 in Japan for the vacant OPBF minimumweight crown.
“But despite winning his last fight, Sabillo, who has a reputable record of 26 wins-4 losses-1 draw and ranked no. 11 contender by GAB, is still not allowed to fight in abroad because of the 2-of-3 Rule.”
Minimumweight Lito “Naruto” Dante won his WBC Innternational title last March 25 at the Manila Hotel during the Elorde Baquet of Champions but he was not allowed by GAB to fight for the OPBF title in Japan even though he is ranked OPBF No. 3 contender due to the GAB’s 2 out 3 rule.
Former IBO world champion Rey “Hitman” Loreto of Davao City suffered four straight losses before he captured the PABA light flyweight title by knocking out Wisanu Kokietgym in Bangkok in 2011. If the 2 of 3 Rule was earlier used by GAB, Loreto could not have been a PABA champion which earned him a crack at the world title.
There are more potential boxers, who are still rated but could no longer fight in abroad.
“We think, we should be putting more time and efforts on evaluating and deciding, especially on the matters of the boxers’ livelihood and opportunity, rather than the effortless and automatic rejection.”
“We do understand that the GAB is after the safety of the boxers, but we believe we can put more balance between safety precautions and livelihood.”
Meanwhile, the World Boxing Council (WBC) Regional Office is also now considering the Boxrec Stars (from 1.5 Star Up) of the boxers in order to qualify for regional belts, regardless of their records in the last three our fights.
The Japan Boxing Council (JBC) Rule also states that only boxers (foreign and local) with four straight losses or 3 straight TKO are not allowed to fight in Japan. But they will be allowed if they can win again in their next previous activity in their own country.
“The Four Straight Loss Rule is considered the best rule for our boxers since it will still keep them in shape and active in the sport.”
“We are also requesting that draws from abroad will also be considered a win, especially if it happened abroad, for obvious reason of “hometown decision”. A draw in other countries is actually a win for our Pinoy boxers.”
“We would also like to request the GAB not to limit the Filipino six rounder boxers to fight only in Japan and hopefully consider it generally also to the other countries like China, Australia, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore as long as there is no mismatch and that they have the medical clearance.”
“Again, we go back to careful evaluation and not just numbers that really do not justify the condition of the boxers.”
For example, Jonel Dapidran and JayR Estremos were both allowed to fight for six rounds in abroad. Dapidran saw action in the undercard of the Manny Pacquio-Jeff Horn title fight last July 2, 2017 in Australia while Estremos also fought last February 26, 2017 in China.
“Likewise, we also appeal to give more consideration to our female boxers, who are just very few in the Philippines.”
“As long as it is not mismatch, we believe the Filipina fighters should be allowed to fight abroad, regardless of their records, as long as they pass all the medical clearances and that the bout is not a mismatch.”
“There are only a few female fighters in the Philippines and when our female boxers fit the same weight as their rival boxers, it’s a blessed opportunity already for them.”
One good example is Aisa Alico, whose record is 6 wins and 8 losses. Alico lost two of her last three fights.
“But she is being paired against a start-up boxer who only still has a record of 2-0, which is still a good match-up.”
“Another consideration is for the heavier divisions like super welterweight and middleweight. They don’t really have many opponents here in the Philippines and so the best for them is to fight abroad. But the 2-of-3 rule has already discouraged them to continue training. Local fights don’t really come aplenty, so they just got stuck up and eventually quit boxing.”
“We are making this serious request for reconsideration to also save our boxers from getting rusty and losing opportunities.”
“The reality is that professional boxing is all about prize-fighting. Boxers need to earn too. They just cannot rely on local promotions because we promoters don’t really promote very often since we really don’t earn from local promotions due to lack of sponsors.”
“And besides, the boxers only earn P1,000 per round in local promotions and they only join because eventually, they want to earn more by fighting abroad.”
“And if most of them are not really given much of a chance, maybe we could end up having only a handful of active boxers.”
They are confident that GAB Chairman Abraham Kahlil Mitra will help them with their request.
“He (Mitra) has done a lot of good things already for boxing like the extension of the licensure and the recent approval of the free medical and CT scan for professional boxers,” they said.
“We know that he (Mitra) can help us on this for he really supports boxing,” they said.
GAB also gave a free registration to all the participants of the highly-successful 3rd GAB Philippine Boxing Convention held in Davao City last April.
The complete list of 64 rated PH boxers:
MINIMUMWEIGHT (105 lbs.) – No. 3 Melvin Jerusalem, No. 6 Dexter Alimento, No. 7 Rolly Sumalpong, No. 11 Merlito Sabillo, No. 15 JC Francisco;
LIGHT FLYWEIGHT (108 lbs.) – No. 2 Jaysever Abcede, No. 5 Jonthan Refugio, No. 7 Salatiel Amit, No. 9 Arnold Garde, No. 11 Ronnie Tanallon, No. 12 Rene Patillano, No. 13 Arman Dela Cruz
FLYWEGHT (112 lbs.) – No. 8 Jenie Boca, No. 9 Rowel Rosia, No. 10.Romel Oliveros, No. 14.Elbert Guadario
SUPER FLYWEIGHT (115 lbs.) – No. 7 Renan Portes, No. 13 Macrea Gandionco, No. 14 John Ray Logatiman, No. 15 Engelbert Moralde
BANTAMWEIGHT (118 lbs.) – No. 10 Renoel Pael, No. 11 Joe Tejones No. 12 Marco Demecillo No. 15 Eugene Rambo Lagos
SUPER BANTAMWEIGHT (122 lbs.) – No. 5 Johnny Gemino, No. 12 Edward Mancito, No. 14 Jeffrey Francisco
FEATHERWEIGHT (126 lbs.) – Philippine champion Randy Braga, No. 4 Silvester Lopez, No. 5 Vergel Puton, No. 6 Rey Las Pinas, No. 7 Rimar Metuda, No. 8 Glenn Medura, No. 9 Jilbert Gomera
SUPER FEATHERWEIGHT (130 lbs.) – No. 3 Roman Canto, No. 6 Nelson Tinampay, No. 7 Warren Manbuanag, No. 12 Jason Redondo, No. 13 Christian Abila
LIGHTWEIGHT (135 lbs.) – No. 1 Adones Aguello, No. 6 Roldan Aldea, No. 8 Nathan Bolcio, No. 9 Vergel Nebran, No. 10 Jerry Castro Verde, No. 12 Rodel Wenceslao, No. 13 Leonardo Doronio, No. 14 Rey Labao
SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT (140 lbs.) – No. 2 Adones Cabalquinto, No. 3 Jeffrey Arienza, No. 6 Ricky Sismundo, No. 7 Rosekie Cristobal, No. 12 Elmo Traya, No. 13 Junar Adante, No. 14 Germaine dela Rosa
WELTERWEIGHT (147 lbs.) – No. 2 Allan Tanada, No. 5 Mark Sales, No. 6 Joel dela Cruz, No. 8 Romeo Jakosalem, No. 9 Dennis Laurente
PH BOXING MANAGERS, PROMOTERS ASK GAB TO REMOVE 2-OF-3 RULE