THE PLDT-ABAP National Boxing Championships fired off in Maasin, Leyte on Monday amid a mini-Olympics presentation highlighted by a spectacular torch parade that showcased the banners of all the participating teams here.
Opening day fights saw Reymark Ibones of General Santos edging 12-10 John Smith Gonzales of Leyte in the junior boys pinweight/ 46kgs; Jeronil Borres of Misamis Oriental defeating 16-9 Leo Domingo Napuli of Maasin Cuity; Dick Espinola of Northern Samar beating Robert Paradero of Aglayan via RSC-Injury; Aldrin Signar of Tayabas nipping 10-7 Jessie Kiamco of Leyte; Gernel Gaspi of Sorsogon beating 17-8 Rico Evale of Maasin City; and Jeffrey Estella of Mandaue thumping 16-7 Joemarin Rubin of Davao del Norte.
In the lone junior boys Light flyweight/46kgs, it was Jayson Ladrillo of Leyte over Venson Homecillo of Sarangani via RSC, and in junior boys flyweight/50kgs., Marvi Tabamo of Misamis Oriental stopped Najib Bag-ao of Maasin in the second round.
Youth boys light flyweight action (49 kgs) had Re Regel Lou Alde of Gen. Santos pummeling 15-5 Reynard Sitenta of Zambales; Raymart Flores of Bago City tripping 18-16 Jene Boy Boca of Camiguin; Aldren Moreno of Pacman Sarangani stopping Ruskin Canon of Maasin City; Ryan Torres of La Union manhandling 18-2 Alquin Silot of Maasin City; and Leonard Bulacan of Mati Davao halting Charlie Foster of Sorsogon.
In other fights, Regged Angco of Maasin City stopped Mark Batolino of Zambales in the youth boys flyweight 52 kg class; Marvin Esquirdo of MisOR whipped 24-18 Jude Abria of Northern Samar, Genesis Libranza of Cabadbaran downed 15-10 Jolito Catagasan of Maasin City, Allan Refuela of Cebu stopped Zoren Collado of Gensan, and Jolan Bunghanoy of Davao del Norte halted Cirianco Fornis of Maasin City in elite boys flyweight 52kgs.
City Mayor Maloney Samaco hoisted a huge championship torch which he paraded around the gym before lighting up an elevated urn.
The flame ran through a wire connected to another urn on the opposite side of the venue before creeping to another side where a switch was ignited and revealed the different banners.
Also on hand was Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado, another avid boxing fan who stayed up through all 18 inaugural day bouts.
“Truly one of the most colorful and well-organized opening ceremonies ever,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson, who welcomed, along with host city officials, a total of 132 boxers from all over the country.