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AIBA, SEAG, Asian Games in 2021 for PH women’s boxing team

FURIOUS FIVE. The 5-member Philippine women’s boxing team from left: Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, coach Rey Galido, Riza Paswit, Josie Gabuco and Aira Villegas during the flag-raising ceremony at the Baguio city hall grounds last Monday where the four Olympians: Petecio, Magno, Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam were honored. Pigeon Lobien / RNG Luzon

With the (Amateur) International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Women’s Boxing Championships moved from December 6 – 19 to March next year, the 5-member Philippine women’s boxing team may still take it slow.

“The gym is still being rehabilitated,” said coach Rey Galido in Filipino during the flag raising ceremony Monday at the Baguio City Hall where the four member Philippine boxing team that won two silver and a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics last August were given honors.

Galido, however, said that training will end on December 17 for his five women boxer. “We will be back by January 10 and from there we will train for the delayed AIBA,” added the former national boxer who handles the training and game plans during fights for Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno, Josie Gabuco, Aira Villegas and Riza Paswit.

The Bacolod native Paswit may just see action in the 57 kilogram category but may move up to 60 kilogram once Petecio comes back.

“I was told to play in the world championship, so I guess I have to go,” said Petecio in Filipino during the press conference at the University of Baguio Centennial Hall where they were later feted by school heads and receive lifetime scholarship and two slots of scholarship to whoever they choose.

Petecio is the defending champion in her category where she is expected to face Sena Irie, the Japanese who dealt her the defeat in the finals.

“I need to learn how to embrace,” she said with a laugh.

But she added that it will be up to her coaches to make the game plan and her to execute it. “I follow their instructions and I will only execute their plan,” she added.

Light flyweight Josie Gabuco returns to the world championship hoping to add another medal to her chest.

Gabuco won the gold in 2012 in Qinhuangdao in China, the first Filipina to do so. On top of that, she took the bronze in 2008 in Ningbo, Japan as a pinweight.

“Hopefully madagdagdagan (I hope I will have more) on top of my gold and bronze medals,” added the Palawan native, who is a criminology student at University of Baguio.

After the world championship, the five will train for the May Southeast Asian Games where they will join their male counterparts.

Gabuco aims for her sixth gold medal in the biennial meet, the most for any boxer, while Petecio, Eumir Marcial and Carlo Paalam defend their featherweight, men’s middleweight and men’s flyweight titles, respectively.

Magno hopes to improve on her silver finish when the games were held in Manila in 2019.

Villegas hopes to better her bronze finish.

It will be a busy schedule for the boxing teams in 2022 with the Asian Games to be held in Hangzhuo, Zhejiang on September 10 to 25.

“That will be my last event for next year,” Petecio said.

The Philippine boxing team won a silver and two bronze medals in the last Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia. Men’s flyweight Rogen Ladon took the silver while Paalam (light flyweight) and Marcial (middleweight) accounted for the two bronze medals.

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