PH boxers start Asiad campaign Wednesday



INCHEON, South Korea—The Philippine boxing team starts its campaign Wednesday in the 17th Asian Games with an aim to surpass its one gold, one silver, one bronze medal performance in the 2010 edition of the Games in Guangzho, China.

Charly Suarez will be pitted against Uzbekistan’s Elnur Abdurimov in a lightweight clash at 7 pm while Mario Fernandez takes on Thailand’s Doncha Thathi in a bantamweight duel at 2 pm.

Suarez, the most veteran on the team and is seeing action in his second Asiad, is taking on a newcomer, 20-year-old Abdurimov.

Fernandez, on the other hand, will have to be cautious against the Thai, whom he beat for the gold medal in the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games last December.

On Thursday, London 2012 Olympics veteran Mark Anthony Barriga makes his Asian Games debut against Syria’s Hussin Al-Marin in the light flyweight division while flyweight Ian Clark Bautista takes on Jordan’s Cuban-trained top bet Abdallah Maher Mohammad Shamon.

Light welterweight Dennis Galvan will be seeking revenge against Kazakhstan’s Battarsukh Chinzorig, who beat the Filipino in the President’s Cup in Almaty only last July. The fight is also set on Thursday.

Also climbing the ring on Thursday is middleweight Wilfredo Lopez. He will take on Turkmenistan’s Azizbek Achilov.

The country’s bets in the women’s division—Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio—get to fight only on Saturday.

Former world champion Gabuco has Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu Ting as her first opponent while Petecio and Kazakhstan’sGulzhaina Ubbinizayova face each other for the first time in their careers.

“It’s not a shabby draw,” men’s team head coach Nolito Boy Velasco said in Tagalog. “As I have said, our boxers are not focusing on the draw. They’re prepared to take on anybody here.”

“The draw is also fair to all. It was done manually, no machine intervention like in other previous draws,” he added.

The Philippines is hoping to surpass the 1-1-1 medals Rey Saluda, Annie Albania and Victor Saludar clinched in boxing in 2010 in Guangzhou.

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