World title far from Petecio’s mind in her SEA Games gold quest
MANILA, Philippines—Nesthy Petecio may be the top women’s featherweight boxer in the world’s amateur circuit, but she’s not about to take her opposition lightly in the coming 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Petecio won the gold medal in her division in the 2019 Aiba Women’s World Boxing Championships in October but she is not letting that accomplishment get to her head.
“A lot has changed in me when I won the World championship but I don’t think about that heading into the SEA Games,” said Petecio in Filipino Friday at the national team’s boxing gym inside Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
“I don’t put in my mind that I’m the World champion and that I will win the gold in the SEA Games because if I do that then I will relax. Yes, I am the World champion but this is a new event, I’ll set aside that title first.”
Petecio is a three-time silver medalist in the SEA Games and this time she’s getting valuable help in the search of her first gold in the regional meet.
The Philippines has been training with the Australian national boxing team and also the Laotian contingency days ahead of the multisport event, which the Philippines will host from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.
“It’s very important for us to have those teams here because now we have quality sparring partners and Laos will also play here in the SEA Games,” said Petecio. “It’s a good chance to see how they [the Laotians] perform and it’s also nice for them to be training here.”
Petecio added that she’s working doubly hard ever since her World Championship win after she spent a week outside the gym to take care of courtesy calls.
Her time away from the ring also took a toll on her health after her pneumonia came back but she expressed confidence that her sickness won’t be interfering with her performance.
“Right now I’m still taking medicine and I’m working to get back what I lost during my time away,” said Petecio. “Right now I’m at 85 to 90 percent but come the SEA Games my sickness won’t be an excuse. When it comes down to play then let’s do it.”
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