TAGUM, Davao del Norte – At around this time of year three years ago, an amateur fighter died of head injuries suffered after a bout in the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association meet in Zambales.
Jonas Joshua Garcia, a fourth year high school student from San Miguel, Bulacan, was dead about a week after being brought to a hospital owing bleeding in the brain.
Reminded of that harrowing incident, the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines is carefully monitoring the matches that are being held in the ongoing Batang Pinoy National Championships.
“Our officials are trained to see this things,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson.
However, Picson maintains that while the CLRAA tapped a few ABAP officials to work the fights, it wasn’t a sanctioned event of the ABAP.
It was the DepEd that handled the holding of the bouts as the slugfest was a qualifying for the 2014 Palarong Pambansa.
“As soon as we see a mismatch, we don’t waste time in stopping the fight,” said Picson, stressing that an ambulance is on standby all the time.
Picson believes in the guiding principle of stopping a fight one punch too early than stopping it one punch too late.
“This is a combat sport and not a sport where athletes don’t get seriously hurt,” he added.