PROFESSIONAL boxing is back on the cards and this time with firm support from the government.
The Professional Boxing Control Board was sworn-in yesterday in a brief ceremony overseen by Port Moresby court magistrate Stephen Oli and witnessed by PNG Sports Foundation’s John Kambuou on behalf of the Sports Minister Philemon Embel.
Businessman Bernard Fong will chair the board which has nine members and has been given the Somare government backing.
Earlier in the year the initial nominated board was not given the sports minister’s endorsement and was disbanded.
Yesterday’s swearing in served to confirm the new board while at the same time revoke the appointments of the previous members as per a government gazettal notice dated Sept 16.
Five members of that board in Fong, Danny Poponawa, Martin Beni, Laurence Thomson and Dr Tommy Wotsia retained their positions.
The new members are Wayne Dorgan, Steven Tsivele, Elina Onno, Anderson Bawa and Glen Winstanley.
Embel, through Kambuou, expressed his satisfaction that the board had finally been selected and gave his endorsement and would now begin the task of setting up its office.
The board has been given a grace period of six months to set up its office while affiliating with other control boards in the region and to provide the groundwork an environment where promoters and fighters would be able to hold professional bouts with strict observance health and safety standards.
Winstanley said the board hoped to approve bouts within the six-month period if things worked out.
However, it would depend on promoters in PNG working with the board as well as fight officials and meeting the criteria set by the PNGBCB for the running of national and sanctioned prize fights.