Boxer Karlo Maquinto’s death sparks calls for inquiry
MANILA, Philippines—Boxer Karlo Maquinto passed away Friday, five days after falling into a coma because of a blood clot in his brain after a bout in Caloocan City. He was 21.
Maquinto battled back from two knockdowns to earn a majority draw against Mark Joseph Costa in their four-round flyweight bout.
The death of the Iloilo-born boxer has sparked calls for an investigation, particularly from House Games and Amusements chair Rep. Amado Bagatsing and boxing promoter Jun Sarreal, who stressed that the medical history of boxers should always be looked into before fights.
“They should always make sure that boxers are fit to fight,” said Sarreal, who has more than 50 years experience in the sport as a promoter.
“There have been past deaths because the medical history of boxers were overlooked.”
Games and Amusements Board chair Juan Ramon Guanzon, whose agency is in charge of regulating professional sports like boxing, said Maquinto’s death was an “accident.”
“Like the boxing community, we are also saddened by Maquinto’s death,” said Guanzon.
Commissioner Aquil Tamano, who also serves as GAB spokesperson, said Maquinto was given a medical clearance to fight.
“He was a boxer who was well-taken care of. We were all surprised with what happened to him,” Tamano said of Maquinto, who was undefeated in four fights before the bout.
Guanzon said the agency followed procedures to ensure the safety of the boxers.
“We had two ring physicians and four other personnel at the venue,” he said, stressing that the GAB has also conducted its own initial investigation of the incident. Aside from the two ring physicians, Gerry Peñalosa, who promoted the fight card, hired another doctor to also be at the venue during the fight, Tamano said.
Tamano admitted that there was no oxygen tank at ringside. “It wouldn’t have mattered because it was a brain injury,” said Tamano.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.