by Nick Giongco
In the light of the near-fatal injury suffered by a Filipino boxer in Japan recently, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) said a meeting with local promoters is on the pipeline to go through safety measures that can be done in the event of a mishap.
“We will discuss this with local promoters before we approve fights,” GAB chairman Baham Mitra told the Bulletin on Friday following the misfortune that struck featherweight Renerio Arizala in Yokohama.
Arizala, who absorbed a sixth-round stoppage from Tsuyoshi Tameda on March 31, underwent a brain operation that removed a blood clot.
Arizala, a 24-year-old native of Masbate, is now on the road to recovery thanks to the expertise of Japanese surgeons at the Yokohama Minato Red Cross Hospital.
The Japan Boxing Commission (JBC) is paying for Arizala’s medical expenses, including his rehabilitation before being allowed to return to the country in a few weeks.
Mitra said the GAB, which operates on a P100-million annual budget, attempted to a linkage with insurance companies but it failed.
“They (Japan) have an insurance while we don’t kasi no insurance agencies accepted when we asked around,” said Mitra, youngest son of the late political leader Ramon Mitra.
“So much is expected from us despite our meager budget,” said the 49-year-old from Palawan.
Mitra has grown so disheartened with the GAB’s inability to lend a helping hand in some cases that he has thought about stepping down “early next year.”
“Sana mabigyan ka ng (financial) support para maka-support din kami. So much is expected from us and (there are) demands sometimes (but) wala naman tumutulong magbigay ng pondo,” added Mitra.