Preps in full swing as Filipino boxers eye better finish in 2019 SEA Games
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine national boxing team is confident it can surpass its impressive medal haul in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games with the country hosting the 2019 edition of the biennial meet.
The Filipino boxers are already in the thick of preparations not just for the 2019 SEA Games this November but also for the International Boxing Association World Championships in September in Russia.
Apart from the two competitions, men’s team head coach Roel Velasco and his pupils are also looking at the prospect of joining the Olympic qualifiers in January of 2020.
“We can surpass what we did in Malaysia especially that we will be the hosts in December,” said Velasco in Filipino during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at Amelie-Hotel in Manila.
The Philippines was the second-best country in the boxing competition of the 2017 SEA Games with two golds, one silver, and two bronzes, while top-performer Thailand had two golds, three silvers, and one bronze.
Last SEA Games’ gold medalists John Marvin and Eumir Marcial are also aiming for the top prize anew.
“Anything less than a gold medal. I’m after that gold,” said John Marvin, a member of the British Army who hails from a Kapampangan mother and a British father.
“Every one of these fighters is also strong and every one of us are aiming for that gold,” said Marcial in Filipino.
Marcial is one of the Philippines’ most decorated amateur boxers having won two gold medals in his career—the welterweight gold medal in the 2015 SEA Games and the middleweight gold in 2017.
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