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Boxers, trainers ask GAB free license renewal for 21-23 period

READY TO FIGHT. KJ Natuplag, middle, will fight this Saturday, June 5, in Dubai against an unbeaten Afghan in the undercard of the World Boxing Organization cruiserweight title fight. Also in photo are: former boxing trainer Rey Dulay, Jerwin Ancajas, Natuplag, Ador Torres and retired Benguet State University vice president and Highland adviser Silvester Aben. Natuplag, like most boxers, trainers, promoters, among others, have signed a letter petition to the Games and Amusement Board to make free their renewal for a license that is good until 2023. Photo from Brico Santig’s Facebook Page

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Boxers, their trainers, matchmakers and even managers are asking the Games and Amusement to make free their renewal for a license for the period 2021 until 2023.

In a letter to GAB chairman Abraham Mitra, they wrote: “To save up on expenses, we are pleading that the renewal of license for match-makers, promoters, managers and most importantly, the boxers and trainers is free of charge for the years 2021-2023.”

In the letter written in Filipino, whose signatories include promoter promoter/manager Dante Almario, Highland Boxing Promotion top honcho Brico Santig and his boxers and trainers as well as father and son trainer-boxer Abel and Carl Jammes Martin, they pleaded with Mitra to make the renewal for the license free as the pro-boxing sector is much affected by the pandemic where fights have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

They wrote: “If it’s possible to provide free of charge documents from your office like (letter of authority) LOA, medical certificate, and others.”

The pro-boxing sector also asked that GAB should work for the return of the Boxers Welfare Fund to said office instead of the national coffers. GAB deducts a percentage from the boxers purse for every fight, which it turns over to the national coffer. However, GAB must pass through the government procedure in seeking funds out of it when needed.

“It appears that the national treasury owns the money when in fact it is owned by the boxers, trainers and those from the boxing sector,” commented Santig.

The cancellation of fights have affected the livelihood of the prizefighters and the members of their team that some even sought other means of livelihood.

Highland boxers like Jelbirt Gomera and Louie Jorda now work temporarily as vegetable porters and packers at the Trading Post here to be able to make ends meet and send money to their respective families.

“One job is P350 and they can earn as much as P1,000 a day if they are lucky,” said Santig, who once in a while lands a fight for his boxers including this Saturday when JK Natuplag fights in an undercard of a World Boxing Organization title fight in Dubai.

Santig, meanwhile, has closed temporarily his La Trinidad gym with the boxers now living in dorms as his siblings and their family moved back here due to the pandemic.

“For their safety and my family’s safety, we decided to have the gym closed for the meantime and them to stay somewhere temporarily,” he said.

He added though, that the boxers can still train on a scheduled basis to avoid contact especially with his young nieces and nephews.

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