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Pinoy heavyweight shelved


PhilBoxing.com



Wendell Dagle.
There would’ve been a heavyweight in the Philippine boxing team at the recent Hanoi SEA Games but ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo held back in enlisting Ormoc City southpaw Wendell Dagle until he proves himself ready for international action. Lightheavyweight John Marvin, a Fil-Britisher who won a gold medal at the 2017 SEA Games, wasn’t eligible to rejoin the national squad until he fulfills obligations in England by January next year.

Dagle, 18, trained with the Philippine team in Muak Lek, Thailand and his progress was closely monitored by coaches. Since a country may enter up to six fighters in seven men’s weight divisions in Hanoi, the Philippines had an extra slot to fill. Dagle’s name was submitted in case he showed progress in camp. The final five in the men’s team were flyweight (52 kg) Rogen Ladon, featherweight (57 kg) Ian Clark Bautista, lightwelterweight (63 kg) James Palicte, welterweight (69 kg) Marjon Pianar and middleweight (75 kg) Eumir Marcial. There were no Filipino fighters in the lightheavyweight (81 kg) and heavyweight (91 kg) classes. At the 2019 SEA Games, men’s boxing featured eight divisions, including lightflyweight and lightweight but excluding heavyweight.

Dagle started boxing in 2019 and battled his way to the national pool. “I was bullied before and when I began boxing, nobody believed in me,” he said. Dagle is a national Asian Sport Jiu Jitsu Federation gold medalist. Another missing fighter in Hanoi was Tokyo Olympic flyweight silver medalist Carlo Paalam. “Carlo’s still catching up with conditioning,” said Manalo. “Ladon has been performing well ever since and won gold in the Thailand Open, beating the Tokyo top seed Amit in the final.”

It was Ladon who prepared Paalam for Tokyo and for Hanoi, it was Paalam’s turn to pay back. They worked together in Muak Lek. Ladon, 28, competed in the 2016 Olympics and made it to the round of 16. At the 2019 SEA Games, Paalam struck gold as a lightflyweight and Ladon ruled the flyweight division. In Hanoi, there was no lightflyweight competition in men’s boxing.


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


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