MANILA, Philippines – Heading into the Asian Games, ABAP executive director Ed Picson said he couldn’t predict the Philippines’ odds of bringing home medals in the boxing events because he didn’t know whom they would be facing.
After receiving the results of the bracket draws on Tuesday, Picson was feeling good about their chances as boxing action begins at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea on Wednesday, September 23.
Light flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga, who represented the Philippines in the 2012 Summer Olympics, will face Hussin Al-Marin of Syria; flyweight Ian Clark Bautista will face Abdallah Maher Mohammad Shamon of Jordan; bantamweight Mario Fernandez will face Thailand’s Doncha Thathi; lightweight Charly Suarez will face Alnur Abdurimov of Uzbekistan; junior welterweight Dennis Galvan will face Battarsukh Chinzorig of Mongolia; while middleweight Wilfredo Lopez will face Azizbek Achilov of Turkmenistan.
In female bouts, reigning world flyweight champion Josie Gabuco will face Lin Yu Ting of Chinese Taipei while lightweight Nesthy Petecio will face Gulzhaina Ubbinizayova of Kazakhstan.
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Some of the boxers are already familiar with their first round opponents.
Fernandez, 21, of Valencia City, Bukidnon, Philippines had previously beaten the 27-year-old Thathi to win gold at the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar. Galvan, 22, of Bago City, Negros Occidental lost a 3-0 decision to Battarsukh Chinzorig in the President’s Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan this past July.
“Not too bad a draw,” said Picson. “We’ll soon see. Also, of course, this will only be the first round of prelims. Opponents will get better as we advance. Our boxers are ready, though.”
Suarez and Fernandez will fight on Wednesday, while Bautista, Barriga, Lopez and Galvan kick off their campaigns on Thursday. The women’s bouts will begin on Saturday, September 27.
The afternoon sessions begin at 2 pm, while the evening sessions start at 7 pm.
The Philippines is looking to improve off its 3-medal performance at the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010, when it took home a gold, a silver and a bronze. The Philippine team will be without its lone gold medalist from those games after Rey Saludar suffered a rotator cuff injury. – Rappler.com
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