Pacman bill right on track
The pet bill of Sen. Manny Pacquiao creating the Philippine Boxing Commission (PBC) that will regulate professional boxing in the country was interpellated in the Senate a couple of weeks ago.
Senate Bill No. 1306, however, encountered opposition from Sen. Franklin Drilon.
Aside from the issue of being redundant with the job of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) of supervising professional boxing, Drilon noted that other sports would not enjoy equal treatment and promotions if the PBC bill was signed into law.
A few days after the debate, GAB chair Abraham Mitra had expressed support for the proposed bill.
The former congressman said despite questions raised by Drilon, he believed the PBC bill would pass in its third and final reading because Senator Pacquiao was a member of the powerful super majority.
Pacquiao is pushing for the creation of the boxing commission because of his love for boxing, which became his ticket to fame and fortune.
There was an unconfirmed report that Pacquiao earned at least $500 million in boxing alone.
Pacquiao said it demanded special treatment from other sports because fighters put their lives at risk in boxing.
Mitra made a 180-degree turn from his previous statement supporting the PBC bill.
He said the creation of a boxing body would not solve the problem of professional boxing in the country.
The former congressman pointed out that instead of creating a new body, all it needed was to institutionalize the efforts done by GAB under his leadership.
Mitra disclosed that the bill authored by Representatives Rodel Batocabe and Winnie Castelo was enough to solve the problems not only in boxing but other sports as well.
During the GAB rating committee meeting attended by promoters, managers, matchmakers and boxers, Mitra proposed the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before and after the fight.
Mitra said this was in response to issues raised by Senator Pacquiao during the PBC bill debate that GAB should impose MRI tests on all pro boxers for their safety.
However, the proposal was rejected by some boxing stakeholders, saying this would be costly for the boxers and managers.