Josie Gabuco bags Asian boxing gold
BANGKOK, Thailand – Veteran Josie Gabuco proved detractors wrong as she took the gold medal in the light flyweight division of the Asian Boxing Championships at the Indoor Stadium of the Hua Mark Sports Complex here on Friday, April 26.
Gabuco, a single mother and a member of the national boxing team for 15 years, was thought by some to have been past her prime. But in her bouts here, including the finals against Kim Hyang Mi of North Korea, she displayed her usual speed and guile to capture the gold.
Coaching consultant Don Abnett of Australia was all praises for the 32-year-old Gabuco even from the start of their training for the tournament.
"She's a talented girl with a lot of heart and has the ability to confuse the enemy," Abnett said of Gabuco, who was also adjudged Best Female Boxer of the tournament.
"In the finals match, she made the North Korean lass miss so many punches and delivered her own ones and twos to seal the deal.”
Abnett likewise credited the local coaches led by women's head coach Nolito Velasco and assistant Mitchel Martinez for preparing Josie well.
“They did a fantastic job,” Abnett added.
The Philippines finished with a 1 gold-1 silver-1 bronze medal tally in the continental tournament where only 14 of the 34 participating countries reached the finals.
Light heavyweight Fil-Briton John Tupaz Marvin settled for silver after a 0-5 setback against Bek Nurmaganbet of Kazakhstan in the title match.
Ian Clark Bautista, who recently moved up to bantamweight, earned a bronze medal as he lost a close split decision Thursday in his semifinal match against Mrazuzbek Mirzahalilov of Uzbekistan.
ABAP president and POC head Ricky Vargas was jubilant at Gabuco's victory.
"Josie really deserves this win,” said Vargas. “She worked hard, focused and believed. She already has 4 SEA Games gold medals and a World Championships, among others. She did it all. I'm so happy for her.” – Rappler.com