2 boxers get the ax from Games and Amusement Board

December 20, 2018

IN an  effort  to  uphold the law and show its resolve to prevent unauthorized fights here and abroad, the Games and Amusement Board  (GAB) cracked the whip on boxers Rolando Magbanua and Eugene Lagos and  suspended them for three months.

GAB Chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra and Commissioners  Mario Masanguid and Eduard Trinidad said the two boxers were  suspended  for “violating Art. 23 of the GAB Rules and Regulations  governing professional boxing in the  country or unathorized fights  abroad.”

In a  resolution approved unanimously  by the GAB last Dec. 17, the GAB suspended the two professional boxers  Rolando Magbanua and Eugene Lagos for fighting abroad  without first securing the  required  “written authority  to fight signed by the  chairman or his duly   authorized representative.”

Mitra, a three-term lawmaker,  said the GAB has no choice but to suspend the two fighters.

“The GAB cannot accept their reasons that they do not know the requirements before fighting abroad and put the blame solely on their matchmakers,” said Mitra in a statement to members of the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS).

“We in GAB have repeatedly announced that there is no VIP treatment in the strict implemenration of the rules and regulations governing  professional boxing,” added Mitra.

Based on records, Magbanua was scheduled to fight on Feb. 16,2018  at  Riverside Parkway in  Austell, Georgia. But the fight failed to  materialize due to  “lack of training and visa processing problems.”

But Magbanua's matchmaker,  Robert Yanez,  said the fight was moved to another date -- March 21, 2018 -- but against a different opponent without any GAB clearance.

The GAB  Boxing and other Contact Sports Division later found out that Magbanua  continued to fight at the  Fantasy Springs Casino in  California, USA  even without any written authority to fight.

“Article 23 of the Rules and Regulations states that ‘before a professional Filipino boxer may be allowed to engage in a title fight or non-title fight abroad, he must secure a written Authority to Fight signed by the Chairman or his authorized  Member of the Board or Representative,” the resolution said.

In the case of Lagos, he lost a fight by unanimous decision  at the Bomb Factory in Dallas,  Texas last Dec. 9.

Despite a recommendation of a 30-day rest period by the Texas Boxing Commission,   Lagos signed  a new contract to fight - and even  knocked out Emilio Sanchez -- last  on  March 22 at Fantasy Springs,  USA

“Patuloy po tayo sa GAB na nagmamasid at nagpapatupad ng regulasyon.  Para rin naman ito sa boxing at mga local fighters natin,” added  Mitra.