PH regains boxing supremacy with 5 golds in SEA Games
SINGAPORE—The Philippines just punched through the gold motherlode.
Mario Bautista and Josie Gabuco defended their titles to lead the Philippines’ explosive five-gold charge in boxing Wednesday in the Southeast Asian Games competitions at Singapore Expo Hall here.
The country practically stamped its class on the competitions, sending eight fighters in 11 divisions and carting away with five gold medals. It was the best showing by PH boxers since winning eight golds in 2005 edition held in the country.
Bautista pummeled Tanes Ongjunta into submission to force the referee to stop the fight in 2:15 of the second round of the men’s bantamweight clash.
“I was just lucky,” said the 27-year-old Fernandez, in Filipino.
Of course, the Valencia City, Bukidnon native was just making an understatement. Fernandez, a cocky power hitter with cutting-edge counter-punching skills, slammed a combinations against the Thai who reeled to ropes.
Eumir Marcial was the last to add to the tally as he knocked out Jia Wie Tay in the 0:48 of second round to claim the men’s welterweight gold.
Junnel Cantancio also hacked out a gold for the Philippines after a 2-1 decision over Vietnam’s Van Hai Nguyen in the men’s lightweight final.
Earlier, Josie Gabuco overwhelmed Raksat Chuthamat of Thailand, 3-0, earn her fourth SEA Games gold and the Philippines’ first of the evening.
Gabuco fired from all cylinders as she mowed down the Thai with barrage of shot as she moved forward. Chuthamat still managed to plant stinging straight at the 28-year-old Gabuco but it was clear the SEAG legend was taking control as she launched relentless attacks.
Gabuco, a single mother who hails from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, has since won every boxing gold in her division since 2009 Vientiene, Laos.
But right after her win, the faucet seemed to momentarily ran dry for the Philippines as Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio lost their respective bouts against Vietnamese foes. Rogen Ladon also bowed to Kornelis Langu of Indonesia in men’s light flyweight.
Despite being the more aggressive fighters in the ring Magno lost to Nguyen Thi Yen, and Petecio fell to Le Thi Bang both via split decision.
But Ian Clarck Bautista turned things on once again with a splendid 2-1 win over Singapore’s Mohamed Hanurdeen Hamid, for the men’s flyweight gold medal.
Bautista, 21, left nothing to chance as he peppered the local boy with barrage of punches to stun Hamid and leave no trace of doubt.
“My prayer is that I don’t get hometown decision once again, that’s I didn’t give up from the start to finish,” said Bautista who has been robbed of gold against hometown foes in Incheon Asian Games and Lion’s Cup in Sri Lanka.
“Though we expect more, we are still very happy with this victories,” said Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.
As of posting, the Philippines is at fifth place with 21 gold medals, 21 silvers, and 33 bronze. CFC
Originally posted: 10 June, 2015-3:56 PM