SEA Games: Eyeing 4 golds, PH boxing go for convincing wins vs home bets
HANOI—The Filipino boxers, counted upon to deliver the gold medals, got four chances to do just that. But two of them will have to snatch them from the jaws of the dangerous host nation.
Defending champion Rogen Ladon and Olympian Irish Magno will clash with Vietnamese rivals in men’s 52-kilogram and women’s 51kg, respectively on Sunday in the 31st Southeast Asian Games boxing competitions at Bac Ninh Gymnasium.
“I like my chances now because I have been training against a southpaw,” said Olympic bronze winner Eumir Marcial of his men’s 75kg final bout against East Timorese slugger Delio Anzaqeci.
Also holding a clearer chance for the gold is Ian Clark Bautista who will take on Naing Latt of Myanmar in the final of the men’s 57kg.
Ladon and Magno, however, can’t be so sure and would need overwhelming victories to convince the judges amid the expected full-packed crowd.
That’s the main reason Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines president Ed Picson cited for the shocking defeats of Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and defending champion Josie Gabuco in the semifinals.
“We expected better results but there were several factors that came into play,” said Picson. “That decision on Josie and Nesthy, I’d like to think the judges were persuaded by the shouting of the crowd but that’s still unacceptable.”
Ladon will fight Tran van Thao who is already fighting in the pros. Magno will take on reigning champ Nguyen Thi Tam who defeated her during the 2019 SEA Games.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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