The Association of Boxing Alliances n the Philippines (ABAP), the national sports association for boxing, sent two separate teams to two international events in the last couple of weeks and both came home with positive results.
A team with elite men’s head coach Ronald Chavez went to the tough First Thailand International Boxing Tournament (formerly known as the King’s Cup with 28 countries participating) June 28-July 5 and came home with 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze. They tied for second in the team standings with Thailand B behind Team champion Mongolia.
Another team traveled to Manado City in the island of North Sulawesi in Indonesia and won the team championship in teh Kaplori Cup (11 countries, 158 boxers) with 3 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.
The coaching team was headed by women’s head coach Nolito Velasco. ABAP’s Ma. Karina Picson was appointed by the Asian Boxing Confederation as tournament supervisor there.
Both teams were awarded trophies and cash prizes for their feats.
Cagayan de Oro’s Carlo Paalam, 20, a bronze medalist in the 2016 World Youth Championships in Russia, slammed the opposition on his way to the top podium position in the light flyweight category in Thailand.
Two veteran female boxers, 2012 World Champion Josie Gabuco and 2014 World Championships silver medalist Nesthy Petecio snared golds in their light flyweight and bantamweight categories, respectively.
They were joined by relative newcomer Ramel Macado, a native of Koronadal, South Cotabato, also a light flyweight. One of his victims was Malaysian Muhammad Fuad Rezuan, who beat Paalam in a controvesial fight in the preliminary round of the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur. Rezuan went on to win the gold medal there.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas, also Philippine Olympic Committee chief, was “very happy for our boxers. This is the fruit of all their sacrifice and dedication. Hopefuly it translates to victory in the Asian Games in August”, he said.
The two tournaments were the culmination of several international exposures that started early this year, which took the boxers to several tournaments in India, Kazakhstan, Poland and Russia.
They also had training stints in China, Thailand and England.
ABAP secretary-General Ed Picson said “the candidates for the Asian Games are a mix of veterans and young guns. We will now evaluate their performance with our coaches, sports scientists and officials to decide who will go. Then we will give those chosen one more training camp before they taper off in time for Jakarta.”
“We give special thanks to the Philippine Sports Commission and the MVP Sports Foundation for their support to the preparation of our boxers,” Picson added.
Silver medalist in Thailand was James Palicte while in Indonesia it was Rio Olympian Rogen Ladon.
Bronze medalists were Marvin Tabamo (flyweight, in Thailand), Sugar Ray Ocana (light welterweight in Thailand), Irish Magno (women’s flyweight, in Indonesia) and Ronald Chavez Jr (light welterweight, in Indonesia).
Veterans Charly Suarez and Eumir Felix Marcial were unable to join the last two trips as they were recovering from injuries.