WULANCHABU, China – The Philippine campaign in the ASBC Women's Boxing Championships ended on a sour note as feisty Nesthy Petecio lost a split decision to Thai Peamwilai Laopeam at the Wulanchabu Sports Gymnasium in this northern Chinese city Thursday.
Two judges, from Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan gave the Thai girl 3 rounds and Petecio one, for a similar 39-37 card. The third judge, from host country China, saw it Nesthy's way, also at 39-37.
It was an action-packed four rounds, with the dusky Filipina asserting herself in the early going to take the first round on two of the judges' scorecards. There were several hot exchanges with neither fighter backing down.
Petecio seemed to have delivered the heavier blows and delivered more combinations, but early in the third round, Laopeam missed with a left hook that resulted to her elbow hitting the Filipina in the right eye.
”Naramdaman ko talaga ang lakas ng tama nung siko at ilang segundo rin akong hindi makakita sa kanang mata ko (I really felt the force of the elbow and for several seconds, I couldn't see out of my right eye." rued the 23 year old Davaoena.
She was fighting in a southpaw stance at the time and had to switch to orthodox after the blow to be able to see her opponent well. Apparently, the judges and even the Kazakh lady referee, who was behind Petecio at the time, didn't see what happened.
An ugly welt immediately appeared over her right eye and the officials decided it was caused by a legal blow and all three judges gave the third round to the 31-year-old, 4-time SEA Games gold medalist (2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013).
ABAP executive director Ed Picson along with other boxers Josie Gabuco, Irish Magno, and Riza Pasuit cheered from the stands and were dejected after the decision.
"I really felt Nesthy did enough to win it. And she was fighting half-blind in the last two rounds, but you wouldn't have known it judging from the way she fought. But we accept the decision, it was kind of a close fight anyway", Picson said
Coaches were Roel Velasco and Mitchel Martinez.
Part of the tournament officials were AIBA International Technical Official Karina Picson (Draw Commission) and AIBA 3-star international referee-judge Cildo Evasco.