by Ronnie Nathanielsz
The president of the Argentine Boxing Federation has suspended former IBF light flyweight champion Luis Lazarte and apologized to Filipinos for the post-fight riot in Mar del Plata after Johnriel Casimero won the interim title with an 10th round TKO of Lazarte.
ABF president Osvaldo Bisbal informed the Manila Standard that the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Federation had “issued a preventive suspension to Lazarte.” Earlier, the International Boxing Federation banned Lazarte for life although the ban can only be effective in fights under the aegis of the IBF.
Bisbal said “the preventive suspension shall have effect unless Lazarte makes a declaration in a timely manner before this Court” which meant the Federation’s tribunal.
At the same time Bisbal sent a letter to the Games and Amusements Board in which he said “We are deeply sorry for all that happened to the Philippine delegation” which is a nation close to us and where we have several friends and feel deep fondness.”
Bisbal stated that they “energetically repudiate these types of violence” and blamed those he described as A few delinquent people who have stained Argentine boxing.”
At the same time the ABF president claimed the IBF had “ignored this institution in the approval of this bout dealing directly with the promoter.” He said they were “in a dilemma on whether to approve or not to approve the fight which was finally carried out by us for the simple fact of respect due to the Philippine delegation.”
Bisbal disclosed that they had started an investigation into the events that happened and will request the Argentine justice authorities to investigate the participants involved in the riot.
In conclusion Bisbal said he ”felt ashamed” and on behalf of Argentinian boxing and himself he extended his apologies to the Philippine delegation and to all Filipino citizens.