Sat, 21 Feb 2004

Ippepin demands action over ring fatalities

Zakki Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian Professional Boxer and Coach Association (Ippepin) has urged the Indonesian Professional Sport Monitoring and Supervisory Board (BPPOPI) to set up a disciplinary commission in a bid to prevent more fatalities.

Andi Gani Nena Wea, Ippepin's patron, called for the country's professional boxing organizations to join together to tackle the issue.

"It's deplorable that two boxers have died within a month," Andi said here on Friday.

Jack Ryan, a local boxer, died from a brain hemorrhage early on Thursday after his bout with Samsul Hidayat in Purwokerto, Central Java, on Saturday.

Last month, Antonius Moses Seram also died after being floored by a Thai opponent.

Nine Indonesian boxers have died after fighting in the last four years. Professional boxing monitoring bodies, the Indonesian Boxing Commission (KTI) and the Indonesian Boxing Association (ATI) have previously been reluctant to talk over the issue.

BPPOPI, as the supervisory body of all professional sports, seems to hold little influence over the organizations.

Andi said that he would be ready to facilitate between BPPOPI, KTI and ATI in an effort to set up a disciplinary commission.

"The commission would have the power to oversee boxers, coaches, promoters and match inspectors," Andi said, adding that the commission should also have the authority to make sanctions.

Andi suspected negligence in heeding safety rules had contributed to the fatal incidents.

"We have to adhere to the rules or our local boxers will die," he said.

Speaking about the boxers' deaths, Ippepin chairman Yance Rahayan said that the match doctors should also be held responsible for the incidents.

"The match doctor is the one who decides whether the boxers are fit enough for their matches," he said.