GAB chair pessimistic in former boxing champ Espinosa's fight purse ruling

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 23, 2015 05:13 PM
GAB chair pessimistic in former boxing champ Espinosa's case
Kung ako sa kanya, I’ll just negotiate with the respondents. Matagal pa rin kasi yan, puwede pa rin kasing iangat sa Supreme Court ‘yung kaso --- Games and Amusement Board chairman Ramon Guanzon

The Court of Appeals may have favored former world champion Luisito Espinosa, but as to when the Pinoy boxing great will finally collect his fight purse, which is almost two decades due, is still up in the air.

Sounding pessimistic, the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) chairman Ramon Guanzon said Tuesday that the case of Espinosa’s unpaid earnings could still drag on for years.

“Nababasa ko pa lang naman sa mga news reports but very pessimistic ako about Louie,” said Guanzon, who admitted he hasn’t seen a copy yet of the CA decision that favored Espinosa in the long dragging case, in the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

The 47-year-old Espinosa has yet to collect the amount of $130,349 owed him for his 1997 World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight championship match against Carlos Rios in Koronadal, South Cotabato.

The Court of Appeals though, recently ruled in favor of Espinosa as it reversed an earlier ruling by the Regional Trial Court of Manila which dismissed the case.

Named respondents were the late promoter Rod Nazario, matchmaker Lito Mondejar, and former South Cotabato Governor Hilario de Pedro III.

The estate of Nazario, who died in 2009, is liable for the amount, according to the court ruling, although it can only be applied on assets and funds inherited from the late promoter of boxing great Manny Pacquiao.

Charges against Mondejar were dismissed since he was not a signatory of the contract, while De Pedro was absolved for ‘failure to prosecute’ in behalf of Espinosa.

Despite the favorable ruling, Guanzon could only sympathize with the retired boxing great.

“Kung ako sa kanya, I’ll just negotiate with the respondents. Matagal pa rin kasi yan, puwede pa rin kasing iangat sa Supreme Court ‘yung kaso,” said the GAB chairman.

World titlist Rey Loreto boxer is also a victim of unpaid title winnings.

The 23-year-old Loreto has also yet to claim his prize money amounting to $42,000 for his March 24 title defense of the International Boxing Organization (IBO) junior flyweight belt in East London, South Africa.

The Filipino scored a first round knockout of South African challenger Nkosinathi Joyi.

Guanzon said the GAB has already made the proper communication with the Boxing South Africa, although the least its African counterpart could do is to blacklist the promoter, Siphatho Handi.

“But I doubt if they can still find the promoter now,” said the GAB chairman.

With all these misfortunes that befell to both fighters, all that GAB could do right now to remind boxers and promoters not to climb the ring until a clear-cut agreement is made regarding the payment of fight purse.

“The most we could do is to advise them not to go up the ring or fight unless their purse is put in an escrow or somewhere else,” he said. “Otherwise, the prerogative still belongs to the boxer and manager to fight.”

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