Latest Stories

Bare Eye

Monster mismatch in Australia


THEY threw a party for world miminumweight boxing champion Merlito Sabillo over the weekend.

Yesterday, a motorcade was scheduled in the streets of Bacolod for both Sabillo and the big-punching Arthur Villanueva, the WBO Asia-Pacific super flyweight champion who, like Sabillo, won by knockout in the recent “Pinoy Pride” promotion at the elegant Solaire Resort and Casino.

There should be more honors and celebrations lined up for these victorious Filipino boxers.

Anyway, before they could start to party, Filipino boxing superhero Manny Pacquiao lashed out at a promoter in Sydney, Australia, who was reported to have exploited and brutally maltreated a bunch of promising Filipino prizefighters, led by Czar Amonsot, formerly of the ALA Boxing Stable in Cebu.

* * *

It was not the first such case involving Filipino boxers in Australia.

What was truly alarming, though, was that, over a week after Pacquiao offered to go after the boxing crooks, there was nothing clear on whether national authorities, led by the Games and Amusements Board, had bothered to at least verify the sickening allegations.

It was not clear if Pacquiao himself would really go out of his way to attend to the plight of his poor fellow prizefighters.

* * *

Maybe the GAB and other concerned agencies were just waiting to sweep the case under the rug?

Not too fast, please.

On Sunday, sports columnist Joaquin Henson went out of his way, traveled to Sydney, and came out with a detailed report on the atrocities committed against the Filipino fighters.

“A fighter who didn’t survive promoter Dido Bohol’s treatment was Roberto Ruiz,” Henson reported from Sydney. Ruiz lost nine of his 12 bouts in Australia from 1997 to 1999. His former girlfriend Michelle said he gradually lost his eyesight and, with Bohol holding his passport, became an illegal resident. Going blind and facing deportation, Ruiz committed suicide in Sydney.”

* * *

Henson went on to report that “sports fans are crying out for justice after the Australian Broadcasting Corp. recently exposed the alleged shenanigans of promoter Bohol in exploiting Filipino fighters whom he imports to use as cannon fodder in one-sided carnages and as unpaid houseboys.”

Henson said Amonsot, 27, lashed at Bohol. The reigning Australian lightwelterweight champion, Amonsot was brought to Sydney in 2010.

“He lived in Bohol’s home and slept with four others in bunk beds stacked on a concrete slab inside an unheated garage,” Henson said. “He cleaned the house and washed dishes when not training.”

* * *

Jay Tunacao said he lived under subhuman conditions, was fed chicken bones, with little sauce over cold rice.  Cried the poor fighter: “Early in the mornings, I always got nosebleeds because it was too cold.”

All the exploited fighters get from their purses were loose change, as they regularly get reminded they still have to pay for their air fare.

There’s not a more sickening mismatch victimizing Filipino boxers.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bare Eye , columnist , Merlito Sabillo , Recah Trinidad

  • Alfie Anido

    Manny should use his position as a Congress man to go after this Bohol. Ano tingin ng gagong Bohol na ito kina Amonsot at Tuñacao, mga panabong?

  • JanofVA

    Oh how sad naman. This has been going on for way too long..I know these Pinoys are just wanting to improve their lives but they must do more to find out if the person they are entrusting their lives with is legit. Pinoys need to be more vigilant about fake recruiters as well as abusive promoters like these.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. Tale of fighting unwashed foe provides comic relief for Pacquiao’s Palace call
  3. Tough cast of possible Manny Pacquiao foes
  4. Talk ‘N Text knocks off listless Ginebra, enters semis
  5. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  6. Tale of the Tape: Julaton’s MMA debut on May 2 vs. Saber
  7. Shakey’s V-League: Lady Agilas nip Lady Altas
  8. Express forge knockout tiff Use hot start to whip Beermen
  9. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  10. Texters book semifinal slot
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  3. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  4. What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could do
  5. Tough cast of possible Manny Pacquiao foes
  6. Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  7. Tale of fighting unwashed foe provides comic relief for Pacquiao’s Palace call
  8. Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  9. Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  10. Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  1. Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  2. ‘Mommy D’ steals show as son fights
  3. Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  4. Pacquiao wins unanimous decision vs Bradley to reclaim WBO title
  5. Pacquiao: I’m ready for Mayweather bout
  6. Mayweather surprise visitor to Bradley camp
  7. Bradley won’t last distance– Peñalosa
  8. Manny Pacquiao: I’ll have everything back
  9. Pacquiao top Mayweather contender
  10. Mommy Dionisia explains ‘vodoo’ act vs Bradley


  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Technology

  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Marketplace