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GAB looks into ‘Battle of the Youtubers’ legitimacy as boxing event

The Games and Amusements Board is looking into the legitimacy of Vlogger TV’s Battle of the YouTubers events.

The event which began in 2021 has pitted “influencers” in boxing or 1v1 basketball games.

Being questioned by GAB is whether these highly-viewed spectacles are either staged or real bouts.

“We always value not only the safety of our boxers but also the integrity of boxing as sports,” said GAB chairman Baham Mitra.

“Rest assured that we will investigate these boxing fights, and appropriate sanctions will be meted to those who will be found responsible under our existing rules and regulations.”

To date, GAB is determining whether BOTY fighters participate in the matches as prized fighters or as actors.

The shows also seem to lack some elements of a highly-structured real professional boxing match, such as the involvement of complete ring officials, including judges, timekeepers, and ring physicians.

The boxing shows also have no more than three rounds as opposed to professional fights with a minimum of four rounds. Likewise, no weigh-in is conducted before the event to determine if the contestants are of the same weight category. And more importantly, the shows consist of fighters/athletes who did not undergo proper medical procedures and clearances — hence licensing from GAB — before the match.

However, such boxing events, whether they appear or not to be scripted for entertainment purposes, have not been following the required health and safety procedures/protocols and the rules for professional boxing, if at all, is indeed a professional event.

Otherwise, if the shows were meant to be amateur boxing matches, they should have gotten official permission from the appropriate amateur sports bodies.

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Mitra assures that GAB is doing its part, in accordance with due process, to hold anyone responsible for violation of professional boxing rules in the boxing matches, if, at all, these matches can indeed be established as truly professional events. Otherwise, professional licensees participating in the shows, which if found to have not secured proper permits from other local sports governing bodies, will be sanctioned accordingly.

“We will suspend the boxers or trainers, or if not, take away their licenses if these boxing shows and their organizers are reasonably found to be exhibiting illegitimate fighting activities,” Mitra added.

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