Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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Bare Eye

Mr. McTavish begs for citizenship

/ 05:15 AM October 13, 2017

Referee Bruce McTavish of the Philippines (R) raises the arm of Japan’s World Boxing Council flyweight champion Daisuke Naito (L) after his title bout against Chinese challenger Xiong Zhao Zhong (not pictured) in Tokyo on May 26, 2009. Naito survived a sixth-round knockdown to retain his WBC flyweight title by a unanimous decision over Xiong. AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA

(This reporter takes pride in reprinting an exclusive report by Dong Secuya, founder and executive editor of, leading international boxing website.)

Long-time Philippine resident Bruce McTavish, originally from New Zealand, was named Referee of the Year in the 55th WBC Convention held in Baku, Azerbaijan Oct. 1 to 6. The WBC also honored McTavish with the same recognition in 2013 and 2015.


The veteran McTavish has refereed more than 1,500 fights in a career that spanned more than 40 years, more than 100 of those were world title fights.

The last world title fight he officiated was between undefeated Thai Chayaphon Moonsri, who successfully defended his WBC world minimumweight title against Australian resident Omari Kimweri of Tanzania on June 3 in Rayong, Thailand.

“The WBC convention in Baku was a great surprise,” McTavish informed Philboxing in a text message.
“The city’s hospitality was first class. The Philippines was honored to have its Games and Amusements Board named as top commission by the WBC and yours truly as the top referee.”

McTavish, 76, boxed as an amateur and retired with a record of 31 wins and 2 losses. He also played rugby and basketball and was a member of the New Zealand national basketball team.

In 1967, he settled in the Philippines, residing in Angeles City, Pampanga. He later married Carmen Tayag with whom he had two daughters.

McTavish is also well-known for his philanthropic activities. He was a member of the Rotary Club in the Philippines. From 1983 to 1984, McTavish served as president of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat in Pampanga. During his term, he introduced the Polio Plus Project, the pilot program which became the basis of Rotary International efforts to eradicate polio worldwide.

McTavish is currently involved with the Bahay Bata Foundation, a residence center for street children in Angeles, Pampanga, as the chairman of the center’s board of trustees. Bahay Bata is a project of Rotary Club of Clark Centennial.

McTavish attempted several times to gain a Filipino citizenship but has so far been unsuccessful.
He’ll not give up trying. Let’s all wish him success.

(MERK MAGIC: From premier jazz artist Richard Merk: “I am turning 63 this coming Oct. 14. I have a birthday show at Musica Bar in Greenhills. Kindly make my birthday special by being there. Come join my Journey. Hope to see you there. Mabuhay. Thank you very much.”)


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TAGS: 55th WBC Convention, Bare Eye, Bruce McTavish, Citizenship, Recah Trinidad
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