Pinoy boxer who tested positive for COVID-19 had expired license, says GAB

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2020 02:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) will send a notice to Filipino boxer John Moralde, whose fight last July was cancelled when he tested positive for COVID-19.

Moralde was supposed to fight in a Top Rank card against Alexis Del Bosque in Las Vegas, where boxers are housed in a "bubble" at the MGM Grand.

"Isang magaling na boksingero si John, 22 wins, three losses, maganda ang record, magagaling ang mga kalaban," GAB chairman Baham Mitra said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

"Eto po magaling na boksingero. Ang conflict lang po ng kaunti, and the Boxing and Contact Sports Division ng GAB will already send him a notice, 'no. Hindi po siya nakapagpaalam na lumaban," he revealed.

Mitra said they looked through their records and discovered that Moralde's license expired in 2018. 

The chairman explained that in general, only active licensees and those who fight in the Philippines are under GAB's jurisdiction. Nonetheless, they still want to make contact with Moralde and his team to ask for an explanation.

"We will write him, we will ask for his side," Mitra said. "Ang magiging rason nila diyan ay hindi na kami GAB-licensed boxers, dito na kami sa Amerika. Ang gusto namin, let's just set the record. Kung talagang diyan na kayo, okay, wala namang problema."

"Remind lang namin sa kanila, Pilipino pa rin sila. Eventually pagka nagka-edad-edad sila ng kaunti, lalaban pa rin sila dito, 'di ba," he added.

"Trabaho namin 'yan, to look after their welfare."

Mitra stressed that GAB does not intend to question boxers who choose to fight abroad, especially if they have better opportunities there. However, they still need to inform the agency so that there is a record of their movements.

"Just let us know, para malaman namin kung paano namin kayo ma-monitor," he said.

As for Moralde, GAB will seek his side first before making a decision or sanction, Mitra added.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).