Boxing at the lower levels is a combination of desperation and sordid behaviour. A fighter may never make the money they need to live comfortably on but they will continue to fight in a hope of providing what their family needs, the money of fight being the possible difference between a meal on going hungry. In the old days boxing for many fighters, even at a higher level, was their job.
Sadly the sordid and desperate side of the sport has reared it's head once again after it was discovered that Filipino fighter Angelito Merin (7-6-3, 1) used a pseudonym to fight whilst put in medical suspension.
Merin was knockout out in December by Danilo Gabisay. It was a beat down by Gabisay who dropped Merin numerous times on route to a 9th round TKO. That TKO loss earned Merin a medical suspension from the GAB (Games and Amusements Board) in the Philippines and effectively put his career on ice for 90 days.
Instead of waiting out his suspension it's been revealed that Merin fought after just 63 days whilst fighting under the name "Kirino", or "Chapito Rivera", in Thailand against Norasing Kokietgym.
Although "Chapito Rivera" is in some ways a fake name it's actually also part of Merin's full name, Angelito Chapito Rivera Merin.
According to Ronnie Nathanielsz there has been a subsequent request by Merins manager, Dante Almario, for their to be a full scale investigation on this fight and similar ones which have failed to be sanctioned by the GAB. Whether the request will be met or not is yet to be seen though we do need to worry about the health of fighters who are failing to fulfill their medical suspensions as well as the fighters being able to leave the country to fight in questionable bouts. We also have to wonder who is really to blame. Is it the desperate fighter, is it the GAB, is it the fighters manager, is it the promoters using these suspended fighters or is it, more worryingly, just a seedy part of our great sport that may be impossible to sort out.
For those wanting to read Mr Nathanielsz's article on the subject feel free to check out the article on boxingscene.com.
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