Boxers Boxers Paalam, Petecio and Marcial are the Philippines’ brightest hopes in the Asian Games.

Pinoy fighters go for gold in Hangzhou

July 25, 2023 Robert Andaya 627 views

THE highly-regarded Philippine boxing team, led by Tokyo Olympics silver medalists Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, hopes to perform well in the coming 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

A strong showing in the Asian Games will be a good step towards achieving their ultimate goal of competing — and winning a gold medal — in the 2024 Paris Olympics, according to newly-elected Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) president Robbie Puno.

This is part of the vision laid out by now ABAP chairman Ricky Vargas when he first took office in 2009 to win a gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“The marching orders from our chairman Ricky Vargas when he became president of ABAP in 2009 is to go through three Olympic cycles,” said Puno in an interview with sportswriters.

‘On the fourth Olympic cycle, we will go for gold. I think It was a moderate kind of goal-setting by Chairman Vargas. We’re on the fourth Olympic cycle in Paris so the intention is to really win the gold. And we expect to accomplish that.”

But before the Paris Olympics, ABAP is setting its sights on the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Among the boxers in the training pool now for the Asiad are Paalam, Petecio, Tokyo Olympics bronze medal winner Eumir Marcial, Rogen Ladon, Ian Clark Bautista, Mark Ashley Fajardo, Aaron Jude Bado, Ronald Chavez Jr and Marjon Pianar, John Marvin, Ira Villegas, and Irish Magno.

Petecio, however will be the only fighting in the same weight class where she won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics Games.

Both Paalam and Marcial are going up in weight.

Except for Marcial, the Philippine boxing delegation in the Asiad is now undergoing training at the ABAP headquarters at Rizal Memorial,.

The Filipinos are also scheduled to leave for India and Australia in the coming weeks to attend two separate training camps.

The contingent leaves for India on July 28 for a two-part training at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, where six other countries are also invited and sparring sessions will be held on a daily basis.

They will travel to Karnataca on Aug. 6 for another two weeks of training.

Upon returning to Manila for a 10-day rest, the team goes to Canberra, Australia for another joint training camp.

In Hangzhou, the Philippines will see action in six of seven categories in the men’s division and three of six in the women’s side.

Based on ruling, the finalists in the men’s division and semifinalists in the women’s side will qualify to the Olympics outright.