By KEITH PUARIA
FORMER professional boxing promoter Patrick Mavihi has called on the new Minister for Sports Philemon Embel to finalise the appointments to the professional boxing and licensing control board as soon as possible.
Mavihi made the call, after a long period to competition, after the death of a Manus boxer.
The programme had been halted by then Minister for Sports Dame Carol Kidu, until a proper board was appointed, before any kind of competition was to go ahead.
However, Mavihi believes it had taken too long.
“This concept is an opportunity for our boxers at the next level and we have to act now,” Mavihi said.
Mavihi, who was part of the 10-member board, appointed in 1999 by then sports minister Andrew Kumbakor, said his interest was particularly for the fighters to get every opportunity they could.
He said the growth of a boxer would reap rewards if the board and the PNG Amateur Boxing Union (PNGABU) worked closely together.
“Fighters will build good profiles and records at the amateur level before they turned professional and not just come out of unknown ranks straight into the pro,” Mavihi added.
Applications were called for in the National Government’s attempt to step in and solve the boxing conflict, however little progress had been made so far.
The control act was drafted and passed in 1991 by Mavihi, former champion boxer Martin Benny and legal officer Joe Aisa.
Other members of the board appointed in 1999 were Dr Benny Amof, the late George Constantinou and chairman Jeffery Asaigo.
The board’s term expired in 2002 and has not been re-appointed since.