World Boxing Council to look into Filipino champ's case

December 28, 2018

THE World Boxing Council (WBC),  headed by Mauricio Sulaiman, will look into the case of Filipino boxing champion Mark John Yap and try to find a win-win solution in the spirit of fair play.

This is the assurance of Sulaiman in his response to both Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF)  President Tsuyoshi Yasukochi of Japan and Games and Amusement Board (GAB) Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra regarding  the controversy involving Yap, who was  “unfairly  stripped of his OPBF crown.”

“I kindly ask you to please take a calm stance and allow the normal procedure to  unfold,” said Sulaiman.

“My father (the late  Don Jose Sulaiman) always told  me: There is this version of the facts, there is the  other version of the facts, and then there is the truth.

“We need to understand that each jurisdiction has its own constitution, rules and regulations. We need to underst and that each country has its own procedures and there are differences in cultures as well.”

“In boxing it is very common to find differences between promoters, managers, trainers and boxers ideals.”

“GAB and JBC are very important to the WBC and of course to the OPBF.”

Sulaiman directed WBC chief legal counsel, Alberto Leon to handle the investigation  and asked concerned parties to submit their comments to Leon to avoid multiple communications.

Earlier,  Yasukochi claimed that Yap has a contract with Edagawa as his manager until 2019.           

“Under the rules and regulations of Japan Boxing Commission, a boxer who has contract with  Japanese manager will consider as a boxer belongs to Japan, regardless of his or her nationality, in this case with Mr. Yap who is Philippines national.”

“Yap told Edagawa that he wishes to retire from  boxing and left Japan. So Japanese manager Edagawa then signed and submitted document which states that Mark John Yap will return the title to OPBF.”

“Yap has not said anything to Edagawa as of now. Therefore, we can not put him as champion.”

But Mitra said Yasukochi’s explanation  was unacceptable

The three-time lawmajer from Palaean claimed that Yasukochi has  ruled the stripping of the OPBF  title based on rules of the Japan Boxing Commission, which is a completely  separate organization.

“Stripping of an OPBF title must be based on rules of the OPBF,” said Mitra in a  statement furnished to the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS).

“What OPBF rules Mark John Yap broke to be stripped of the OPBF title  that he  defended all those times with  his life on top of the boxing ring?.”

In his letter to OPBF, Mitra said: “We  respectfully disagree on your decision. The boxer should be the one to signify his intention to retire, and not the manager.”

“Also, if you consider him retired why is he still number 1 in his division? Also, why would you approve a title fight for his belt December 24 without even consulting him or us?

“We have no choice but to elevate this case to the WBC leadership as it is our mandate to look after the welfare of our Filipino boxers,” added Mitra.