Lack of insurance complicates athlete’s near-fatal injury

Sport’s oversight body to discuss insurance and other safety measures with promoters

Lack of insurance complicates athlete’s near-fatal injury

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Following the near-fatal injury sustained by a Filipino boxer during a bout in Japan, the Philippines’ Games and Amusements Board (GAB) is looking to engage local boxing promoters regarding insurance and other safety measures for boxers.

On March 31, Renerio Arizala collapsed on the way out of the ring following a sixth-round stoppage in his featherweight match against Tsuyoshi Tameda in Yokohama, Japan. It was revealed that Arizala suffered a blood clot in his brain, requiring emergency surgery. He’s now recovering and needs to undergo several weeks of rehabilitation before being allowed to fly back home.

Arizala had no insurance coverage, but the Japan Boxing Commission offered to shoulder his medical expenses.

According to GAB chairman Baham Mitra, unlike their Japanese counterparts, Filipino boxers do not have insurance when competing.

“No insurance agencies accepted when we asked around,” he told the Manila Bulletin, adding that he will organise a meeting with local boxing promoters to discuss safety measures such as insurance to avoid a repeat of the tragedy that befell Arizala.

Boxing is one of the riskiest sports in terms of head injuries, where concussions are quite common. Permanent brain damage is quite likely, hence why some insurers might be reluctant to cover the sport. Many fighters have suffered from career-ending or even fatal injuries, leading to several medical associations, including those from the UK, Canada, and Australia, to call for boxing to be banned.

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