MANILA, Philippines — Ideally, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) would’ve wanted to send six Filipino boxers to the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
But nonetheless, four qualified for the Tokyo Games led by middleweight contender Eumir Marcial and for Abap secretary-general Ed Picson, each one has a legitimate chance to bring home the elusive gold.
“I think coach Don (Abnett) will attest to this that we actually expected more, maybe one or two more but the world qualifying tournament was canceled and they had to go to the rankings,” said Picson in an interview with SportsIQ.
“We’re happy with the four that we have. I think this is a very formidable lineup. All of them are very capable of winning a gold medal.”
Joining Marcial are women’s featherweight Nesthy Petecio, flyweight Carlo Paalam and women’s flyweight Irish Magno.
As part of the PH boxing team’s buildup for the Games, the four spent time training overseas with Marcial undergoing camp in the US while Petecio, Magno and Paalam were able to sharpen their skills in Thailand.
Picson also extended his gratitude to the MVP Sports Foundation for bankrolling the national boxers’ training camp.
“We’re very fortunate. Not all NSA’s have the benefit of a private benefactor and one as generous and as concerned about our sport and our athlete as the MVP Sports Foundation,” he said.
“It helps a lot that Mr. Pangilinan is a sports fan. We all know that he likes to watch sports activities and he actually went into this advocacy of helping out sports because of his love for sports. It is a genuine advocacy.”
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