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OLYMPIC GOLDEN QUEST


PhilBoxing.com




The recently concluded Smart ABAP National Amateur Boxing Championships not only conveyed a message of hope for the quest for the elusive Olympic gold, but also a unifying factor of all boxing stakeholders. The ABAP Congress is one excellent show of the joint venture of the private sector and the government with the support of the media.

Bacolod City, as expected garnered the overall championship, having sent the most number of participants, with the right preparations and with the hometown crowd backing. The recent tourney also accommodated the boxers fairly, with the boxers no longer sleeping on the floors, but on hotel beds. And expect more than a thousand boxers to flock the national championships next year with the fine accommodations.

A lot of optimism is pinned on Dodie Boy Pe?alosa, Jr. and Fil-Australian Robin Pelileo to bring home the bacon come 2012 London Olympics. Reportedly, ABAP Chairman Manny Pangilinan has bestowed offers for them to stay as amateurs until the much-awaited Olympic showdown.

But there?s a lot of hard work to do, since the elusive gold would not come without perspiring for it. Other nations of the boxing world are advancing. Even African countries, Arab countries and other unknown nations we easily beat before, are now intensely improving the quality of their boxers.

Harry Ta?amor was the only Filipino athlete predicted to win a medal by Sports Illustrated's Olympic Preview issue. However, he was defeated by a virtual unknown Manyo Plange of Ghana in the preliminaries. He lost to an African champion his handlers thought was a nobody.

The ABAP plan of putting up regional training centers in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao is very commendable. In the words of SecGen Pato Gregorio, the boxers would not leave their provinces to train. They should stay near their homes and ABAP would go to their home province to prepare them.

But there is now an ongoing tug-of-war between Cebu City and Bacolod City as the venue of the regional ABAP training center in the Visayas. But since the Visayas is a rich source of boxing talents, it is wise for the ABAP to put up one in Bacolod and one in Cebu.

SecGen Gregorio also disclosed the plan of putting up an internet record of all amateur boxers, like the boxrec of the professionals. And he is tapping no less than Dong Secuya and Philboxing.com as the venue for such a record keeping in the web.

There is a need to overhaul the system of officiating in ABAP. We complained during the international competitions of terrible officiating, but in the national championships, there were cases also of bad calls and decisions by referees and judges.

Three years to go to 2012, not enough time, but not too late though to prepare. Focus should be put on the young promising boxers. The Smart ABAP financiers are putting up their wealth to encourage our boxers. Government should throw their all out support and we call on all senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors to contribute their share for the honor and glory of the country.

Top photo: ABAP Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan speaks to the Philippine boxing stakeholders Jan. 22 in Bacolod City.


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


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