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Bacolod City, PhilippinesSaturday, March 3, 2012
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Pro boxers asked to submit
medical papers before match

MANILA -- A lawmaker has filed a bill imposing additional requirements before a boxer can be given a license professionally and for boxing matches, a government press release said.

Under House Bill 5799, authored by Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, professional boxers are mandated to submit a medical clearance every six months and insurance coverage of all professional boxers as additional requirements before engaging in a fight.

Mercado-Revilla said under the measure, a professional boxer is directed to submit to the Games and Amusements Board a medical clearance every six months, not later than June 31 and December 31 of every year. Such clearance shall be a requirement for the boxer to continue fighting in boxing matches, the press release said.

She pushed for the immediate passage of the bill, citing the recent death of Filipino boxer Karlo Maquinto who passed away as a result of the brain hemorrhage he sustained during his last boxing match on January 28, 2012.

She also said the present requirements and regulations as implemented by the GAB for licensing of professional boxers and requirements for boxing matches are inadequate to protect the health of professional boxers.

"As a contact sport, professional boxing carries the risk of bodily injury, which may result in permanent disability or even death," she said.

She also said professional boxing has been the sport where the Philippines earned the distinction of excellence.

"Boxers such as Pancho Villa, Flash Elorde, Ceferino Garcia, Luisito Espinosa, Gerry Penalosa and our colleague Congressman Emmanuel 'Manny' Pacquiao have all brought prestige and honor to our country through boxing," she said in the press release.

She added that due to the prestige and financial rewards of being a professional boxer, many Filipinos especially the poor families become professional boxers.

Under the bill, medical clearance shall include the medical results of CT scan, X-Ray, ECG, Drug Test, HIV Test and Eye Refraction. The non-submission of this medical clearance to the GAB shall be a ground for the non-issuance or non-renewal of the license of the professional boxer.

The bill provides a medical suspension of 15 days for a four-round match, 20 days for a six-round match and 30 days for eight, 10 and 12-round matches to professional boxers after boxing matches, whether winning or losing the match. The present medical suspension by the GAB on a boxer after a knockout loss shall be maintained, the press release also said.

A boxing match shall not be permitted to proceed without an insurance procured by the promoter to cover the expenses in the event of injuries sustained by boxers in the course of the fight.

Violators shall be punished with imprisonment of prision correccional or imposed a fine of P250,000 or both.*PNA

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