Paris Olympics

Petecio, Ladon off to splendid starts in world qualifier for Olympic boxing

Delfin Dioquino

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Petecio, Ladon off to splendid starts in world qualifier for Olympic boxing

FIGHTER. Philippine bet Nesthy Petecio in action against Chinese Taipei's Lin Yu Ting in the Asian Games.

POC-PSC Media Pool

Filipino boxers Nesthy Petecio and Rogen Ladon both ace their first tests in the World Qualification Tournament for the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – Two Filipino boxers gained ground in their bid to punch a ticket to the Paris Olympics with a pair of rousing wins to start the World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, on Sunday, March 3 (Monday, March 4, Manila time).

Nesthy Petecio and Rogen Ladon both aced their first tests as they inched closer to joining compatriot Eumir Marcial, who is so far the only Filipino boxer to qualify for the Paris Games.

A silver medalist in the last Tokyo Olympics, Petecio opened her campaign in style with a first-round stoppage of Serbia’s Andela Brankovic in the women’s 57kg preliminaries.

Petecio imposed her will on Brankovic, forcing Moroccan referee Bachir Abbar to halt the fight with a minute left in the opening round.

Needing to reach the final to clinch her Paris berth, Petecio will next tangle with Romania’s Maria Claudia Nechita on Thursday, March 7.

Ladon, meanwhile, moved within three wins of an Olympic return after a 4-1 split decision victory over Italy’s Federico Emilio Serra in the men’s 51kg category.

Seeking to qualify for the Olympics since his last appearance in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, Ladon earned the nod of four judges, with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28. The other judge scored it 29-28 in favor of Serra.

Unlike Petecio who must secure a top-two finish for a spot in Paris, Ladon only has to make the semifinals.

Ladon will face Morocco’s Said Mortaji next on Wednesday, March 6.

While two of the Philippines’ 10 bets in Busto Arsizio advanced to the next round, one suffered an early exit as Riza Pasuit fell prey to Venezuela’s Krisandy Rios via unanimous decision in the women’s 60kg division.

Set to see action in the coming days are Carlo Paalam (men’s 57kg), Aira Villegas (women’s 50kg), Mark Ashley Fajardo (men’s 63.5kg), Claudine Veloso (women’s 54kg), Ronald Chavez Jr. (men’s 71kg), Hergie Bacyadan (women’s 75kg), and John Marvin (men’s 92kg).

Ladon, Petecio, Villegas, and Bacyadan all won gold medals in their respective weight classes in the Boxam Elite Tournament in Spain in February.

The Italy tournament serves as one of the last two qualifying events for Paris, with 28 Olympic slots for men and 21 for women up for grabs in Busto Arsizio. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.