MANILA, Philippines—The Games and Amusements Board said it will send a notice to Filipino boxer John Moralde, whose fight in July was canceled after he tested positive for COVID-19, as his professional license is expired.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra said Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that Moralde also didn’t notify the government agency that he would be fighting in Las Vegas.
Moralde (23-3, 13 knockouts) was supposed to take on Mexico’s Alexis Del Bosque in a Top Rank card in Las Vegas, where boxers are living inside a bubble at MGM Grand, but that fight was scrapped after the Filipino slugger tested contracted the virus.
“He’s a good fighter, but the Boxing and Contact Sports of Division of GAB will send him a notice. He also didn’t tell us that he has a scheduled fight,” said Mitra in Filipino.
Mitra added that upon looking at Moralde’s records, they found out that the 26-year-old super featherweight had an expired license since 2018.
“We will write him, we will ask for his side,” said Mitra, who explained that only active licensees and those who fight in the Philippines are under GAB’s jurisdictions but they still want to ask Moralde’s team for an explanation.
Moralde fought three times in 2019, twice in the United States and once in the Philippines. He made is debut in Las Vegas.
“They [Moralde’s team] will likely say that they’re not he’s not a GAB-licensed boxer since they’re in America. What we want is just to set the record straight. If they’re really based there already, then there’s not a problem,” said Mitra. “We just have to remind them that they’re still Filipinos. Eventually when they get older, they’ll come back here and fight here.”
“It’s our job to look after their welfare.”
Mitra insisted that they don’t want to question the boxers’ motives to fight abroad, especially if it presents a better economic opportunity, but they still need to inform the agency of their whereabouts so that there’s a record of their movements.
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