CEBU CITY, Philippines – Panamanian boxing judge Carlos Costa was in a hot seat this week because of the allegations of unprofessional conduct and for “muscling” his way to seek favorable assignments in boxing promotions.
And if he is not sitting as a judge, he moonlighted as a cornerman to a Latino boxer who comes to the Philippines to fight, while writing boxing articles in various boxing website.
The complaint of the Luzon-based Association of Philippine Professional Boxing Ring Officials (APPROBA) and the Professional Boxing Officials of Central Visayas (PBOCV) is now at the legal division of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) waiting for Costa’s answer on the petition before it will be resolved. They wanted his Boxing Judge license to be revoked.
The complaint steam from Costa’s frequent assignment in boxing matches especially, international matches.
An incident report filed by Sports and Games Regulation Officer Oliver Evangelista citing Costa’s maneuvering to get favorable assignments.
According to Evangelista, Costa told him that “there is no such thing as a rotation of officials,” which was the first and foremost concern of GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra.
Evangelista added that Costa further told him that “you know I must be assigned to another fight. I write good things about GAB and in return official like me must be assigned to these boxing events.” Wow! Just wow!
What I knew of Costa is that he was an interpreter for Latino boxers who comes to Cebu to fight in international boxing promotion, especially WBO cards. And he also writes for Dong Secuya’s Philboxing.com. Probably that is where he got his urge to score bouts.
A quick look at his credentials as a boxing Judge, Costa had accumulated a total of 163 from April 2018 to September 7, this year. And he is all over the Philippines, he is Cebu based but he was assigned in Taguig, Paranaque, Quezon City, Cavite, Rizal, Pasay, Ifugao, Davao City, General Santos City, Compostela Valley, Biliran, and he’s been to Bangkok many times, Malaysia and Japan. What a lucky bastard!
Referee/Judge Teddy Alivio and Tony Pesons probably the most senior boxing officials in Cebu whose officiating career began in 1979 don’t get to judge too many boxing bouts around the country. Alivio had accumulated a total of 382 bouts officiated over 40 years while Pesons had 238. At the rate that Costa is going, he should outdo Alivio in about two years, granting GAB won’t revoke his license.
Neil Papas who started to score bouts the same month and year as Costa only had 47 bouts to his credit, so try to imagine how he muscle his way to get assigned.
I was once a GAB Official, I used to be a licensed ring announcer. But I never told GAB Cebu supervisor Lando Mendoza to give me more assignments because “I write good things about GAB.” I don’t need to do that because I was the only ring announcer in Cebu at that time. But aside from Cebu promotions, my out of town assignments were only in Bohol and Dapitan City.
I know promoters favor getting expat judges/referees to save expenses. Bruce McTavish who is from New Zealand and living in Angeles City, get to officiate many boxing bouts from 1985 up to the present and he had 434 bouts under his belt. But I never heard rumors of him asking favors because he has been refereeing too many international bouts.
Costa’s case is different; he had violated Mitra’s policy. He muscled his way to get assignments. And as a journalist, he should have refrained from doing that. He should have observed the ethical standard of a boxing writer. While it is okay to work on a boxer’s corner, scoring bouts for a fee is totally unethical. Why? Because in controversial decisions, you’ve got to explain yourself, then it would be a conflict of interest. Then here’s the other ugly thing, when you get to ask for assignments. That’s very ugly. /RCM