MANILA, Philippines – After years of settling for runner-up finishes, veteran boxer Nesthy Petecio finally made a name for herself in the world stage as she copped a breakthrough gold in Russia on Sunday, October 13.
Petecio ruled the featherweight division of the 2019 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships to become the second Filipina world champion since Josie Gabuco won the light flyweight gold in 2012. (READ: Nesthy Petecio strikes gold in women’s world boxing)
Find out more about this Filipina pug who’s on track of her bid to land on the Southeast Asian Games podium as well as secure a berth in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
1. She has been boxing for 20 years
The 27-year-old Petecio started boxing at the age of 7 in her hometown in Tuban, Davao del Sur.
Due to the lack of opportunities for female boxers, it took Petecio 8 years for a chance to showcase her talent in a bigger stage and crack the women’s national boxing team at the age of 15.
The Davao native landed on the podium for the first time in the 2011 SEA Games in Jakarta where she bagged a silver in the bantamweight division. The following year, she also won her first bronze medal in the Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Ulan Bataar, Mongolia.
In 2013, Petecio moved up to the featherweight division where she managed to cop a silver in the SEA Games in Myanmar.
Her relative success in the featherweight division gave her a chance to join the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Although Petecio didn’t medal then, she more than made up for it by capturing a silver in the 2014 World Championships in Jeju.
In 2015, Petecio had to settle for another silver in the Singapore SEA Games, which prompted her return to the bantamweight division two months later in the 2015 Asian Championships in Wulanchabu, China. However, she fell short of the gold once again.
2. She came close to competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics
When women’s boxing became an Olympic event in 2012, Petecio aimed for a berth in the next edition of the quadrennial event. However, she fell short in her bid in the 2016 AIBA Women’s Boxing World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Petecio dropped a split-decision to Morocco’s Zohra Ez Zahraoui in the women’s flyweight division and the Philippine delegation wound up with no Filipina boxer in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
This time, however, Petecio remains on track of her bid to secure a maiden Olympic berth in the women’s 57kg division of the 2020 Tokyo Games.
3. Controversies struck her career
Like Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Petecio missed the 2017 Southeast Asian Games as host country Malaysia axed the women’s boxing event.
Petecio had a chance to bounce back in the 2018 Asian Games, but heartbreak came early as the Filipina lost to China’s Yin Jun Hua in a controversial 2-3 split decision. Yin moved on to the gold-medal match against North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa.
Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) petitioned that the judges who scored the fight against Petecio be banned from scoring future fights involving Filipinos, which was granted.
The many controversies that unfolded in the Asiad hosted by Indonesia put boxing in danger of getting excluded from the 2020 Olympics, but still, Petecio aims to continue training and prepare for another golden shot. – Rappler.com