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SPORTS SHORTS 64: ABAP PREZ RICKY VARGAS OPTIMISTIC OF WINNING A MEDAL IN THE TOKYO OLYMPICS


PhilBoxing.com



Eumir Marcial (L) and Irish Magno (R).

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas is very optimistic that the Philippines can win a medal in the coming Tokyo Olympics scheduled July 23 to August 8, 2021.

* * *

Vargas said that this the only time in his life that he is making a prediction at Cignal’s The Chasedown. “If we have four in Tokyo, believe me we will have a medal in the Olympics and it will come from our boxers,” he boldly predicted.

* * *

Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno already qualified to the Tokyo Olympics and two more boxers, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, are expected to also earn slots after Olympic organizers cancelled the World Qualifiers in Paris, initially scheduled in July, again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* * *

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson said Petecio and Paalam are currently ranked No. 1 in Asia in their respective divisions, which would hopefully give them an Olympic slot each out of the 53 world places, 32 for males and 21 for females, to be divided equally to all four continents, Asia-Oceania, America, Europe and Africa.

* * *

Vargas also announced Marcial will join the national boxing team when the boxers depart for Thailand for a training camp early next month after the fighter's second professional fight originally scheduled next month was cancelled.

* * *

Vargas said that Marcial is very eager to join them, and he will ask permission from his new management MP Promotions to join them. "He’s our biggest chance of the gold,” he added.

* * *

The ABAP president stated that they have five months to prepare and focus and he is willing to bring Marcial, Magno, Petecio and Paalam anywhere in the world where there are best opponents. The Philippines has won 10 medals including three silver and seven bronzes in the Olympics with five medals from boxing.

* * *

Eumir Marcial won the 2011 International Boxing Association Junior World Championships in three years after he took up training for the first time. He was awarded the Best Asia Youth Boxer of the Year in 2014.

* * *

He won the gold medal in his weight class at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games, and earned a silver medal in the Asian Confederation Boxing Championships.

* * *

At the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Marcial settled for silver in the middleweight category losing to Russian boxer Gleb Bakshi in the final bout.

* * *

Marcial won the middleweight gold medal in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic boxing qualifying tournament by beating Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan by split decision, 3-2, in Amman, Jordan. Marcial already secured an Olympics berth by making it to the semifinals.

* * *

In July 2020, Marcial turned pro and signed in with MP Promotions although he has pledged to continue to represent the Philippines in international amateur competitions such as the Southeast Asian Games and the Summer Olympics.

* * *

Eumir Marcial, age 25 years from Zamboanga City, dominated Andrew Whitfield from Lewiston, Idaho in his first pro fight on December 16, 2020. It was a 40-36 shutout at the 2020 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

* * *

Marcial outthrown, 310 punches to 273, and out landed Whitfield, 120-46 with 39% accuracy. Two months prior to the fight, Marcial trained under Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club.

* * *

Irish Magno's first gold medal in an international competition was won at the 2012 Taipei Open in Taiwan. She won a silver medal in the women's flyweight division in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. She lost to Vietnam's Nguyễn Thị Tâm in the finals.

* * *

She qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in March 2020 via the Asia/Oceania qualifiers held in Jordan. Magno will be the first-ever female boxer to represent the Philippines in the Olympics.

* * *

Stephen Fernandez competed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics where he won a bronze medal in taekwondo bantamweight division, considered a demonstration event that time. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the Philippine Taekwondo Association and was the coach for the taekwondo team of the De La Salle University for 24 years.

* * *

Beatriz Lucero, more popularly known as Bea Lucero, won a bronze medal at the 1992 Olympics in taekwondo featherweight division, a demonstration sports at that time. Before switching to taekwondo, Bea was an artistic gymnast. Bea did not make the gymnastics team to the 1988 Seoul Olympics because of her age.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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