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ABAP prepares for SEA Games


PhilBoxing.com



ABAP medal hopeful Eumir Marcial.

ABAP is leaving no stone unturned in getting ready for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games here late this year. Boxing will be staged at the Makati Coliseum with 13 gold medals at stake, eight in the men’s division and five in the women’s. It’s a stark contrast from only six gold medals that were up for grabs at the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur.


In 2017, Thailand took top honors with a harvest of two golds, three silvers and a bronze. The Philippines was close behind with two golds, a silver and two bronzes. The Filipino podium finishers were middleweight Eumir Marcial and lightheavyweight John Marvin with a gold each, bantamweight Mario Fernandez with a silver and lightwelterweight Charly Suarez and flyweight Ian Clark Bautista with a bronze apiece. There was no women’s boxing in the SEA Games that year.

Marcial, 23, Marvin, 26, Fernandez, 25 and Bautista, 24 are still in ABAP’s elite pool with 13 others. Suarez has turned pro and is no longer with ABAP. Also in the elite men’s pool are lightflyweights Carlo Paalam, 20 and Ramel Macedo, 23, flyweights Rogen Ladon, 25 and Marvin Tabamo, 22, bantamweights Ryan Boy Moreno, 21, Jorge Edusma, 23 and Jummilardo Ogayre, 19, lightweights Criztian Pitt Laurente, 19 and Mario Bautista, 21, lightwelterweights James Palicte, 24, Ronald Chavez, Jr., 19 and Sugar Ray Ocana, 22 and welterweight Joel Bacho, 26.

Of the 17 in the pool, seven are in Team A, namely, Paalam, Ladon, Fernandez, Palicte, Ian Clark Bautista, Marcial and Marvin. In the elite women’s team are lightflyweight Josie Gabuco, 31, flyweight Irish Magno, 27, bantamweight Aira Villegas, 23, featherweight Nesthy Petecio, 26 and lightweight Carolyn Calungsod, 19.

In the coming SEA Games, the men’s weight classes are lightflyweight (46-49 kg), flyweight (52 kg), bantamweight (56 kg), lightweight (60 kg), lightwelterweight (64 kg), welterweight (69 kg), middleweight (75 kg) and lightheavyweight (81 kg). The women’s weight categories are lightflyweight (48 kg), flyweight (51 kg), bantamweight (54 kg), featherweight (57 kg) and lightweight (60 kg). In 2017, boxing was limited to six men’s divisions----lightflyweight, flyweight, bantamweight, lightwelterweight, middleweight and lightheavyweight.

Additionally, ABAP has five youth male boxers in the pool receiving monthly allowances from the PSC. They are flyweight Criz Russu Luarente, 17, lightflyweight Kenneth de la Pena, 17, lightweight Norlan Petecio, 17, lightflyweight Rejemelyr, 17 and flyweight John Vincent Pangga, 16. De la Pena and Pangga are in Team A.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson said in the pipeline are male and female candidates in the elite, youth and junior divisions. For elite men, the candidates are flyweights Regie Suganog, Crisan Paul Diacamos and John Ignatius Macas, lightweights Paul Celis Bascon and Argie Emendo, lightwelterweight James Colina and welterweight Marjon Pianar. For elite women, the nominees are bantamweights Nicezzaa Petecio and Claudine Veloso and lightweight Analyn Velasco. For youth boys, the candidates are bantamweights Flint Jara, 17 and Randy Tanodra, 17 and lightweight Charlie Calago. For junior boys, the candidates are pinweights (46 kg) Wendel Tagle, 16 and Eljay Pamisa, 16, flyweight Jerico Acaylar, 16 and bantamweights Dave Laurejas, 16 and Ronrick Ballesteros, 15.

For youth girls, the candidates are lightflyweight Cleo Tesara, 18 and lightweight Analene Celion, 18. For junior girls, the candidates are lightbantamweight Mary Sinadayan, 15 and flyweight Ailene Caranangan, 16.

Picson said training camps will be set up in Saraburi, Thailand, for men’s Team A on March 6-16, in Uzbekistan in June, in the US for men and women in August, in Thailand for youth and juniors in September and in China for men and women in October. The major competitions are the Asian Championships for men and women in Bangkok on April 17-28, the World Championships for men in Ekaterinburg, Russia, on Sept. 7-21, the Asian Championships for women in Ulan-Ude, Russia, in October, the Asian Junior Championships for male and female in the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 1-8, the Asian Championships for youth male and female in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on Nov. 9-19, the SEA Games at the Makati Coliseum on Nov. 30-Dec. 10 and the Asian U22 Championships for men and women in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in December.

In the proposed timetable are tournaments in Bulgaria, Iran, China, Germany, Spain, Poland, India, Kazakhstan, Panama, Czech Republic, Cuba, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan but participation will depend on funding from the PSC and POC. It’s a full schedule and ABAP is focusing not just on the existing fighters in the pool but also the next generation from whose ranks will come the country’s future medalists.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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