POOLED REPORT FROM PSA
NAY PYI TAW — Three Filipina boxers get their first real test when they see action in the semifinals of the women’s boxing competition of the 27th Southeast Asian Games Thursday at the Wunna Theikdi Stadium here.
Light flyweight Jose Gabuco, flyweight Maricris Igam and bantamweight Irish Magno wage war against the lady boxers from Thailand, who remain as the biggest obstacle in the Filipinos’ road to a golden finish.
Gabuco, who bagged the gold medal in the pinweight category in the previous SEA Games, will be facing Sonrka Chantavonsra while Igam and Magno face Supida Satumrum and Peamwilai Loapeam, respectively, in a bid to join Nesthy Petecio in the finals.
Petecio made it to the gold-medal game after clobbering Tassamalee Tsongjan via unanimous decision in their women’s featherweight semifinal clash last Tuesday.
She will be facing New Ni of Myanmar in the finals on Saturday.
“This tournament is turning into a Philippines-versus-Thailand series,” Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson said. “They have the experience, we have the youth. Both of us have a lot of boxers in the semis, so this is getting more interesting.”
In the men’s side, six local boxers, led by London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga, will vie in the semis.
Barriga will face Mohd Faud Mohd Reuvan of Malaysia in the light flyweight class while flyweight Rey Saludar battles Mg Nge of Myanmar; bantamweight Mario Fernandez clashes with Tran Quocc Viet of Vietnam; lightweight Junel Cantancio fights Muhamad Ridhwan Ahmad of Singapore; light welterweight Dennis Galvan tangles with Ericok Amonopunyo of Indonesia; and welterweight Wilfredo Lopez collides with Alex Tatantos of Indonesia.
The men’s semis will be held on Friday.
“We have to be very careful against our opponents,” Picson said. “All of them are experienced and ready to go for the win. They want to beat us and prove something in this tournament.”
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