Pinoy boxers Suarez, Petecio earn 1-2 wins in Olympic Qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino boxers Charly Suarez and Nesthy Petecio gave the Philippines more reasons to cheer with two more victories that put them 4 steps away from a booking a ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics in August on Easter Sunday, March 27.
Six Filipinos are currently fighting in the Asian-Oceania Olympic Qualification at Qian’An, Hebei Province that is a two-and-a-half hour drive from Beijing, China. Suarez battered Taiwanese boxer Lai Chu-En from the opening round that saw the latter take two standing 8-counts after getting rocked by the Filipino. The Cuban, Russian, and Sri Lankan judges gave the Davao native identical cards of 30-26.
Petecio, the lone Filipina in the RP delegation, also gave a good account of herself with a unanimous decision victory over Micronesian Jennifer Chieng in 4 rounds. Petecio, who went down in weight from her usual 54 kilograms to fight in the 51-kilo flyweight division, garnered twin scores of 40-36 from the Hungarian and British judge and 40-35 from the Uzbek official.
"Medyo bata pa at kulang sa experience yung kalaban,” warily noted Suarez of his 20-year old opponent who defeated a favored boxer from Turkmenistan a day earlier. "Pero hindi ako nagpabaya kasi mabilis at may power din, (He's a bit young and inexperienced. But I didn't lose my focus because he's fast and has some power).”
Suarez advances to the quarterfinals against India’s lightweight Dheeraj Rangi on Tuesday, March 29. Rangi isn’t expected to be an easy match for the Filipino as the Indian is a military man who won a silver medal during the 2015 World Military Games and most recently, a gold medal in the 2016 South Asian Games that was held last February in Guwahati and Shillong, India.
“It’s a good start for us,” pronounced Philippine delegation head and Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) Executive Director Edgar Picson following Sunday’s results. “3-for-3. That moves us closer to our goal because our boxers need 3 or 4 more wins to qualify for Rio. We still have a long ways to go but our boxers are in good spirits."
Three more Filipino boxers will be in ring action today. The top-seeded light flyweight Rogen Ladon mixes it up with Japan’s Tosho Kashiwasaki while welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial battles Australian Kori Istafanos. Bantamweight Mario Fernandez will face Turkmenistan’s Yakub Meredov. – Rappler.com