YOUNG Filipino boxers are in for a tough campaign in the ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championships as boxing powers from around the region are expected to see action in the meet set next week at Subic gym.
Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson said the presence of Kazakhstan, China, India, Uzbekistan, and even North Korea makes it imperative for the host to be at its best if it plans to equal or surpass the bronze medal it won during the inaugural staging of the event in Tehran, Iran three years ago courtesy of Engelbert Moralde.
Sanctioned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the ringfest is set March 11-16.
“It’s not going to be easy to make a prediction, but our boys have been preparing long and hard,” said Picson in the weekly PSA Forum yesterday at Shakey’s Malate.
Aside from the traditional favorites, the boxing executive is not discounting the possibilities of countries such as Mongolia, Nepal, and neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia pulling some surprises.
“You see, Asian (countries) are also quite competent and skilled. So we’re on our toes,” added Picson in the session presented by Shakey’s and the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation.
Spearheading the country’s bid are former AIBA Junior World Boxing Championship gold medal winner Eumir Marcial and bronze medalist Jade Bornea, together with Jonas Bacho, James Palicte, and Ian Clark Bautista.
According to Picson, the PH boxers arrived Tuesday from a two-week training camp in Cagayan de Oro City hosted by Governor Oscar Moreno.
“I cannot gauge our chances but our boxers will be there fighting,” said the ABAP executive director.
No less than AIBA president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu is gracing the opening ceremonies on March 11, along with Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) president Gofur Rakhimov of Uzbekistan, while ASBC executive director Aziz Kozhambetov was here in the country two weeks ago and came away impressed when he conducted an ocular inspection of the venue at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
The event, added Picson, will coincide with the ASBC Asian Commission Committee meeting, and the ASBC Annual Awards Night set on the final day of the event on March 16.