by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Games and Amusements Board chairman Ramon Guanzon has assumed responsibility for allowing Boxing Division Chief Dr. Naser Cruz to work in the corner of Chinese boxer Rex Tso in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Brandon Rios fight card at the Cotai Arena of the plush Venetian Hotel in Macau last Sunday.
The GAB and Dr. Cruz came under fire for a clear conflict of interests and an illegal and unethical move where a Philippine government official worked in the corner of a Chinese fighter and even wore the same uniform of Team Tso.
Guanzon told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that since the issue is controversial “it won’t happen again.”
He said “you cannot blame Cruz because he asked for my authority after the manager of Rex Tso asked for assistance (during the WBC Convention in Bangkok) because they have no competent cut-man. I thought it would help establish good relations with Hong Kong and it would also be a good opportunity for Dr. Cruz to go to Macau for free. That’s the only thing I had in mind.”
Guanzon claimed Tso “was not fighting against a Filipino so I thought it was okay but a few boxing people are against that move it is not important, it won’t happen again.”
Guanzon clarified that Dr. Cruz did not travel at the expense of the Philippine government but that the camp of Rex Tso paid all expenses. When the Standard pointed out that this was even worse since a Philippine government official was being paid for by someone from China to go and work his corner, Guanzon replied “I didn’t find it that offensive, so if its very offensive to some I won’t do it again. ”
Asked whether Dr. Cruz was a certified cut-man and whether he ever took up that role in a fight the GAB chairman said “I don’t know about that but as a certified doctor and surgeon I thought he was qualified.”