In the Philippines, the general population and members of the government take the sport of boxing extremely seriously. When they see one of their beloved fighters get the kind of treatment that Johnriel Casimero got last weekend in Argentina, you knew there would be some sort of response. However, I certainly did not expect this big of a response. On Wednesday the Philippine Senate adopted a motion that will summon the Philippine ambassador to the Senate, effectively withdrawing their ambassador from Argentina for a short period of time according to Ronnie Nathanielsz. The Senate majority leader gave a speech explaining their outrage over the actions that took place.
"We must condemn in the strongest possible terms this attack on a Filipino sports hero and the entire Philippine delegation," Sotto said.
"Filipino boxers endure long hours of tedious physical training and they risk their lives in every fight. They are not just competing for themselves; they are competing for the country's honor and pride. An insult to the Filipino contingent is an insult to our country."
When boxing is a cultural priority, if a fighter becomes aggrieved in a foreign country, people of high authority take immediate action. This type of action would never, ever happen in the United States because like James Foley said in his article boxing is not national priority. With the news earlier this week that the Argentinian Boxing federation was not going to punish Luis Lazarte, it is good to see that at least one organization is pushing to make reforms.
The actions by Lazarte in the ring that night were also terrible and need to be punished. The WBC needs to take more action against Lazarte than merely condemning the actions taken by Lazarte and his supporters. Lazarte should be banned from the WBC rankings and anyone he fights in the future would also face a ban. This would be a serious punishment but Lazarte did bite Casimero three times in the ring. Ultimately, I would like to see Lazarte banned from the sport, but I know that is not feasible. As long as the guy can make a buck and draw fans, he is going to box. What do you guys think would be an acceptable punishment for Lazarte?