by Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman has demanded safety changes in boxing in Indonesia.
At the same time Sulaiman informed BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “due to the great number of accidents in the ring during fights in Indonesia, we must request all the affiliated countries not to authorize boxers to fight in Indonesia, until new methods of medical emergency, ring doctors and ring officials are established.”
He also said “we have to warn the Government who have made promises that have not been fulfilled.”
Sulaiman noted that “one of the main issues, among others, is that the referee has to be no more than 20 inches away from the boxers when they are fighting in a corner. In this last bout, that could have avoided the death of the fighter.”
Sulaiman was referring to the recent tragedy in which 17 year old Tubagus Setia Sakti died of a cerebral hemorrhage after losing by an 8th TKO in a clash for the Indonesian national title against Ical Tobiada in a fight televised by TVRI.
The Jakarta Post reported that Tubagus’ coach, Misyanto, blamed the referee for not stopping the match after Tubagus raised his hands to concede defeat.”
The WBC president had earlier imposed a six month ban on Indonesia following a total of five ring deaths in 2000 and 2001 amidst charges that promoters were negligent in following necessary medical guidelines.
Sulaiman said that in his opinion Indonesian boxers had died because they had “not been medically examined prior to the bouts and/or the referees let them punch each other to death without stopping fights when a boxer is seriously injured.” Sulaiman also claimed some promoters had programmed one-sided fights with supervision and approval from the Indonesian boxing commission.
The head of the Philippine Games and Amusements Board Boxing Division Dr. Nasser Cruz had earlier disclosed that the WBC was set to introduce regulations that would require fighters to undergo tests for the level of APOE4, a kind of protein in the brain which hampers recovery from brain surgery and cerebral hemorrhage while also increasing the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
A report from Jakarta at that time said medical experts suspected that at least 75 percent of Indonesian boxers have a very high content of Apolipoprotein E-4 . The report said medical experts believe fighters with a high incidence of APOE4 must be forced into retirement.