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Death sparks call for boxing ban

AFP-JIJI

A 16-year-old Philippine athlete died after a week in coma following a boxing match, triggering calls for the sport to be banned in schools, an official said Monday.

Jonas Garcia, a high school athlete, suffered internal bleeding after a boxing match in a regional sports competition and died on Sunday.

Boxing is hugely popular in the Philippines, which has produced many international champions, including Manny Pacquiao, once regarded as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.

The death has sparked calls for the suspension of boxing from national school sports competitions, said Tonisito Umali, assistant secretary of the government education department.

“Requests are being made for the suspension of boxing. Other regions are also saying they will not continue boxing,” he said.