SEAG: Abap still packs golden wallop
EVEN without its two top guns, the Philippine boxing team is loaded with power in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson gave this assurance yesterday as he announced the complete lineup of the national team in biennial games set June 16.
Olympian Mark Barriga and Charly Suarez have earlier chosen to compete in the lucrative Aiba pro boxing tournaments but Picson maintained that the country is sending out “a fighting” team to challenge regional power Thailand.
Bago City-native Rogen Ladon will replace Barriga at light fly, while veteran Junnel Cantancio, who also hails from the Visayan boxing hotbed, take the place of Suarez at lightweight.
“Morale is very high because those who have been under the shadows of Mark and Charly are now given the opportunity to strut their stuff in high profile competition,” said Picson. “We believe they have the same chances given the situation.”
The Philippines won three golds through Barriga, Mario Fernandez and Josie Gabuco in 2013. That’s on top of four silvers and three bronzes. In comparison, the Thais tallied 7-2-1.
Fernandez will defend his bantamweight, while Gabuco is the women’s light fly bet.
Also in the lineup are internationalists Ian Clark Bautista (flyweight), Eumir Felix Marcial (welterweight) and Wilfredo Lopez (middleweight) in men’s division. Irish Magno (flyweight), Nesthy Petecio (bantamweight) and Riza Pazuit (lightweight).
Boxing competitions start on June 6 with six golds at stake in men’s and four in women’s divisions.