PH boxer Fernandez skips Rio qualifier due to cataracts on left eye
Boxer Mario Fernandez complained of double vision while throwing punches during training. He later went to an eye specialist who discovered cataracts on his left eye.
The Asian Games bronze medalist will have to forgo the last chance to punch a ticket to the Rio De Janeiro Olympics as Filipino boxers leave for Baku, Azerbaijan early Tuesday to compete in the final AOB Qualifying Event for the global quadrennial Games.
“It was Mario himself who decided he could not concentrate fully with the thought of his eye condition in the back of his mind,” said Ed Picson, executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.
With the bantamweight Fernandez missing the tournament, the Philippines hopes to gain more Olympics spots in boxing which now rests on the shoulders of flyweight Ian Clark Bautista and welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial.
They’re both eager to join Rio-bound Rogen Ladon (flyweight) and lightweight Charly Suarez, who are set to leave for the United States Wednesday and set up camp until the final week going into the Aug. 5-21 Games.
“Although it is not life-threatening nor a serious condition, this is boxing and the cause of the condition was trauma, so we didn’t want to take the risk,” said Picson.
Fernandez, gold medalist in the 2013 and 2015 Southeast Asian Games, got a bronze medal in the Asian-Oceania Olympic qualifier in Qian’An, China last April where Ladon and Suarez earned their Rio trip.
At that time, the Bukidnon native missed the last available slot for the Olympics after ending up fourth in his weight class.