New Abap president Robbie Puno reaffirms goal of winning Olympic gold in Paris | Inquirer Sports

New Abap president Robbie Puno reaffirms goal of winning Olympic gold in Paris

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:12 PM July 04, 2023

ABAP robbie Puno

Congressman Robbie Puno, newly-minted president of the ABAP, and chairman Ricky Vargas pose with SEA Games boxing medal winners, led by gold medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, and their coaches during a welcome luncheon at Teachers Camp in Baguio City last Saturday. –HANDOUT PHOTO/ABAP

MANILA, Philippines—Deputy speaker Robbie Puno, the new president of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), reaffirmed the federation’s ultimate goal of winning an Olympic gold medal.

Puno was formally introduced to the national boxers with Abap chairman and former president Ricky Vargas at Abap’s training facility in Baguio City last Saturday with a year to go before the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Our goal is to make it to the Olympics via the Asian qualifying events, and win the gold in Paris,” said Puno, who was previously the vice president of Abap.

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“At kasama na rin sa pangarap natin na magwagi ng ginto sa Olympics ay ang mai-angat ang buhay ng ating mga boksingero at nang kanilang mga pamilya (Part of our dreams of winning gold in the Olympics is to alleviate the life of our boxers and their families).”

Puno was handed the reins in May following the passing of erstwhile president Ed Picson last April. Picson also served as a longtime executive director and secretary-general of Abap.

Claiming the breakthrough gold at the 2024 Olympics would be fitting after Abap, back in 2009, assessed it would take that span of time for the federation to deliver a golden performance on the biggest stage.

“Sinabi namin noon, on the fourth cycle of the Olympics, mananalo tayo nang gold,” Vargas said, addressing the boxers. “Yan ang cycle na pinaka-importante, at yan ang cycle ngayon. That’s why the Asian Games [in September] is so important kasi don ka magka-qualify. At kaya nating gawin ito.”

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(We said before, we’ll win the gold on the fourth cycle of the Olympics. This current cycle is the most imporant. That’s why the Asian Games is so important because that’s the qualifiers. We can do this.)

Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam came close to winning the elusive gold two years ago at the Tokyo Olympics where they both finished with silver medals. Middleweight Eumir Marcial added a bronze to the haul in what turned out to be the best finish by the Philippine boxing team in an Olympic event.

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Puno, a fan of the late great Muhammad Ali and Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, is also the vice chair of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas.

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TAGS: ABAP, Paris Olympics, Robbie Puno

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