SUBIC – The Philippine team struck gold four times in the 24-nation ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championships.
Flyweight Ian Clark Bautista schooled famed Uzbekistan fighter Mirazizbek Murzahalilov on the sweet science, 19-10, at 52 kilograms, while light flyweight Jade Bornea solved the riddle that is Japan’s Kosei Tanaka, 15-13, for the country’s first two gold medals in the finals Saturday at the Subic gym.
“Tinantiya ko yung mga suntok niya noong first round, e kaya ko pala,” said Bautista, who dominated the Uzbek with punishing hooks and combinations. Bautista took the first round, 6-3, and put the match away in the second, 13-6. “Ibang saya ang nararamdaman ko kasi dito sa ’tin ginawa ang laban,” he added.
Bornea, on the other hand, finally figured out his Japanese opponent.
"Buti nakasilip din ako ng pagakakataon noong third round," said Bornea.
The first two rounds went with neither boxer having the edge, 3-3 and 8-8.
But Bornea, bronze medalist in last December’s World Youth Championship in Armenia, finally got through with his vaunted right straight, connecting decisively to gain the judges’ nod in the ferocious exchange that marked the third round for the winning margin.
Later in the afternoon, lightweight James Palicte won a third gold for Team Philippines in the tournament backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, PLDT, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Clarktel, Subictel, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Videogear Inc., Exile Lights and Sound, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Sports Commission, and supported by Sony Philippines, Nestle Philippines, and Trame Oil & Environmental Specialist.
Battling Chinese Liu Xiaoshuai at 60kgs, Palicte crafted a hard-fought 17-13 victory. Liu put up a gallant stand and kept the scores close in the first two round, 5-4 and 10-9, before losing steam in the third.
World Junior champion Eumir Felix Marcial then brought the country’s maiden hosting to a resounding climax by bagging the fourth gold, outclassing Mongolia’s Bartzorig Otgonjorgal, 29-12, at 64 kgs as he riddled the Mongolian throughout with rapid fire head shots.
Only bantamweight Jonas Bacho failed to make it to the gold medal bout, narrowly losing in the quarterfinals.
“A great day for Philippine boxing!” gushed Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines president Ricky Vargas. “Words can’t express how proud I am of the overall effort and resolve put together by our young ABAP boxers in this tournament. Truly magnificent! Great job, guys.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), praised officials of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines for showing “great commitment and zeal in delivering the best in terms of organization and hospitality.”
Wu, who graced the opening of the tournament, told ABAP chairman Manny V. Pangilinan: “From the first bout, this championship has proven to be a great success. The men you have chosen to bring the ABAP to the next level have widely proven to be the right ones for the job. Under your patronage, the ABAP has surely the potential to grow even more and bring further luster to your boxing.”