by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Games and Amusements Board chairman Ramon Guanzon has asked his Boxing Division Chief Dr. Nasser Cruz to contact the promoters of a January 11 fight card in Vera Cruz, Mexico and to ask them to explain the use of photos of ALA boxers in a fight poster where three other far less known boxers were matched against Mexican opponents.
The scandal was exposed by the Manila Standard, philboxing.com and boxingscene.com after the Standard received a copy of the poster in which photos of ALA fighters WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes, former WBO/WBA flyweight challenger Milan Melindo and retired fighter Reman Salem were falsely used in place of Filipino boxers scheduled to figure in a boxing promotion titled Mexico vs Philippines.
Mexican Mike Lopez who often works the corner of Hispanic boxers who fight in the Philippines told us he noticed the poster which was seen on Facebook some weeks ago and wondered how the Mexican promoters could use a photo of Nietes who is well known in Mexico because he has defended his title in Mexico several times.
In what seems like an obvious reaction to the “scandal” the website of promoters Reginaldo and Oswaldo Kuchile Promociones del Pueblo quickly replaced the poster of the fight card set to take place at the Auditorium Benito Juarez in Vera Cruz, Mexico using only photos of the Mexican fighters and the names of their Filipino opponents.
Respected ALA Promotions patron Tony Aldeguer had earlier asked GAB chairman Guanzon to conduct an immediate investigation into the “irregular usage of the photos” and insisted that “this gross misrepresentation should not be left unheeded especially since it concern a Filipino World Champion whose photo shows him wearing a Filipino head band and a championship belt obviously to mislead the public into believing that this could be a Championship fight since it is scheduled for 12 rounds as reflected in the boxrec.com.”
Aldeguer disclosed that the photo of Donnie Nietes was used for Filipino light flyweight Mark Duran while the photo of Milan Melindo was used for bantamweight super featherweight Vergel Nebram and the photo of retired boxer Reman Salem was used for Adones Aguelo.
Duran (11-9-2, 5 KO’s) is scheduled to face former WBA champion Ramon Garcia Hirales (19-4-1, 12 KO’s), Nebran (11-6-1, 7 KO’s) is set to fight former WBC super flyweight champion and current WBA Latino bantamweight champion Tomas Rojas (41-5-1, 27 KO’s) while Philippine Boxing Federation champion Aguelo (20-8-2, 12 KO’s)will clash with former Latino champion Nery Saguilan (26-4-1, 10 KO’s).
Filipino promoter and boxing manager Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr told the Manila Standard that he had worked out the contracts of the three Filipino boxers but flatly denied he had anything to do with the misrepresentation in the fight poster.
Aldeguer told the Manila Standard he had he asked the GAB chairman to identify who the Filipino matchmaker who arranged for these Filipino fighters to fight in Mexico was “since we are sure your office has a copy of their fight contract and also for their travel requirements which needs your approval.”
Aldeguer added “we want to get into the bottom of this to find out who sent these photos to the Mexican promoter as we intend to file legal charges against the person responsible for these false representation of our fighters Donnie Nietes and Milan Melindo” even as he asked Guanzon to “give us the necessary information soonest before the January 11 event in Mexico.”