CAGAYAN de Oro – Jeronel Borres showed why he is being eyed for the national pool since last year as he helped host Cagayan de Oro Team A to the overall title at the close of the 2013 PLDT-ABAP Mindanao Area Boxing Tournament at the Tourism hall here.
The 17-year-old Borres showed his quickness, timing, and solid defense to easily hurdle the challenge of Renemark Cuarto of Pacman, Saranggani Province on the way to a 30-26, 30-25, 30-24 unanimous decision in the Youth Boys pinweight class.
He had Cuarto in trouble as early as the first 30 seconds of the first round with a solid head shot for a standing eight count and repeated that punch in the latter part of the third round to the delight of the local crowd which stayed in the venue despite a two-hour brownout.
Borres’ division attracted the most number of participants in this five-day boxfest organized by ABAP in cooperation with the local government headed by Mayor Oscar Moreno with 11 boxers.
But it was the third year high school student at Macasandig National High School who showed great conditioning and stamina as he had to fight the full route in his four fights to nail the gold medal.
“Unang gold ko ito sa division at susubukan ko na manalo sa National Finals at kung magawa ko, papasok na ako sa national team," said the 5-foot-3 Borres, who made his mark the past year while campaigning in the Junior Boys.
Four more members of CDO-A won their respective bouts as the team took the overall title in the event supported by PLDT and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), beating CDO Team B and Pacman with a haul of five gold, one silver, and one bronze medal.
Carlo Paalam, a 15-year old boxer who has dominated the Kids division the past two years and idolizes Cuban WBA/WBO and The Ring super bantamweight king Guillermo Rigondeaux, this time lorded over the Junior Boys pinweight class, beating Samuel Salva of Gingoog City by unanimous decision.
Marin Tabamo and Markwil Salvana topped Regel Lou Alde of General Santos City and Valentino Linio of Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat in the Youth Boys flyweight and lightweight while lady pug Shena Mae Jacinto won over Angelica Dadole of CDO-B in the Junior Girls light flyweight class.
CDO-B leaned on the efforts of Junior Boys boxers light flyweight Mark Lumbab and bantamweight Sugar Ray Ocana to match the golden efforts of PACMAN’s lady boxers Lanie Minguillian (Junior Girls pinweight) and Joan Sumilhig (Junior Girls flyweight).
The second team from the host City however had two silvers and a bronze as against the one silver and bronze of PACMAN to claim second place.
A total of 13 Finals were held with four more teams securing a gold while all 14 participating squads took home at least a bronze, a sign that Mindanao is truly one of the country’s hotbed in boxing.
Other winners were Bonie Lamberto of Lutayan (Junior Boys flyweight), Tom Jone Mangubat of Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon (Junior Boys light bantamweight), Robert Paradero of Aglayan, Bukidnon (Youth Boys light flyweight), and Joey Tejones of Camiguin (Youth Boys bantamweight).
“As expected, itong Mindanao palagi naman marami tayong nakukuha rito. Our coaches will evaluate the performances of the boxers at pipili tayo ng mga puwedeng ipanlaban sa national finals next year. Sa tingin ko, magiging maganda ang Finals with the best boxers from Luzon and Visayas competing against boxers from Mindanao,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson.
National coaches Pat Gaspi and Romeo Brin were on hand to evaluate the performance of the boxers while Aiba International Technical Official (ITO) Karina Picson served as the competition manager. AIBA 3-star International-Referee-Judge Roger Fortaleza stood as tournament supervisor.