Urgent cry for a boxing gold
No Filipino boxer who has no chance whatsoever of winning would be sent to the 2018 Asian Games.
This was stressed by Ed Picson, executive director of the Abap (Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines) prior to their journey to Indonesia.
Picson, also the spokesperson of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) traveled to Jakarta with eight boxers, 7 males, 1 female.
Picson had to explain when asked why there had been zero publicity on his boxers during their training.
The boxing team has perennially been looked upon to deliver for the National contingent in both the Olympics and the Asian Games.
After a relatively quiet start in Indonesia, only three male boxers were left to contend for medals.
Picson made a loud noise after veteran internationalist Nesthy Petecio, a heavy favorite, lost by split decision to a Chinese fighter in the preliminaries. He claimed Petecio got robbed by the judges.
After Petecio, four more fighters fell one after the other.
To contend in Friday’s semifinals were middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial, flyweight Rogen Ladon and light flyweight Carlo Paalam.
The boxing team returned from the 2014 Incheon Asiad without a single gold medal. Before that, Rey Saludar won a gold medal in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
Roberto Jalnaiz won the lone gold for the Philippine contingent in the 1990 Beijing Asiad.
But the most delightful performance by the national boxers was scored by three simonpures—Elias Recaido, Reynaldo Garrido, and Mansueto Velasco—who captured three gold medals in a sterling performance in the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima.
Velasco went on to bag a silver medal in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
There’s keen interest in the national boxing team, as a great performance could eventually lead to a slot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the late Anthony Villanueva finished with a silver medal.
Of the three Filipino boxers who would figure out in the semifinals in Jakarta, middleweight Marcial, two-time Southeast Games champion, was favored to move on to the finals. He stopped an unbeaten pro boxer from Macau in the preliminaries.
He was to face an acid test against tough Israil Madrimov of Uzbekistan, while light fly Paalam was to face an Indian foe named Amit.
Ladon, who saw action as the lone Filipino qualifier in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, was pitted against Thailand’s national champion Tongdee Yuttapong.
Meanwhile, Picson said he’s hoping the battle-tested Filipino trio would succeed in moving onto the gold-medal round.
Ladon, lone Filipino hope bombed out in his first bout in the Rio de Janeiro, but was expected to do better in Jakarta.
“I have trust and confidence they can all do it,” Picson declared on the eve of the boxing semifinals.
All final bouts will be held Saturday.