PH boxing team could try new tack | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

PH boxing team could try new tack

/ 05:10 AM March 17, 2018

FILE – Ricky Vargas. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

A dismayed head of the national amateur boxing team to the last Olympic Games swore and called out the name of Manny Pacquiao in desperation close to the end of the last Olympic Games.

Ricky Vargas, now also president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, felt terribly disappointed after their best, hardest efforts proved futile during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympiad.

Give this to Manny Pacquiao, Vargas was supposed to have cried. He had wanted the eight-division world title winner to take over and rescue the national amateur boxing program.


Next, Ed Picson, executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), would rue the fact that their efforts would be capped with our lone Olympic qualifier in boxing Rogen Ladon freezing and bombing out in his first preliminary bout in Rio.

“We’ve done everything possible, what went wrong?” Picson wondered.

Nothing clear has been reported on what remedies or changes, if any, the Abap has introduced.

Two weeks ago, immediately before the POC polls, this reporter would learn that members of national boxing team, numbering a dozen, have been holed out in the Abap training camp in Baguio City.


They must be mulling something great with the national coaches in time for the next Asian Games in August.

Yesterday, it was reported that coaches Pat Gaspi and Roel Velasco were preparing the national boxers for a grueling road to the Asian Games, where they expect to bounce back and reap rewards.


No specifics on the conditioning and training regimen.

“The national boxing team is eyeing training and competition in Cuba and Italy,” reported Roderick Osis of the Baguio Sun Star, quoting coach Gaspi.

“Coach Velasco said the team will also see action in Poland for the Asiad buildup,” the report added.

Based on camp movements, there would be other foreign trips and competition for the national squad before the Asian Games.

Velasco, bronze medalist in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, said the foreign stints should help expensively in preparing the national boxers for the Asian Games, from where they returned without a single gold medal four years ago.

Of course, foreign training and competition was never a sure-fire method for success.

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“The boxers and their handlers went on extensive sight-seeing tours,” noted Manny Lopez, immediate past president of the Abap, in explaining what had really gone wrong with the national boxing team in Rio four years ago.

TAGS: Bare Eye, Manny Pacquiao, Olympic Games, Ricky Vargas

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