PH boxing's best Olympic chance on the line
MANILA, Philippines – Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) president Ricky Vargas can confidently say the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is the country's best chance to qualify the most number of boxers and even snag a historic Olympic gold.
But as the fate of the global sports showpiece remains uncertain, the Philippine boxing chief stressed it would certainly be a missed opportunity for history if the postponed quadrennial meet were to be canceled.
"We know that we have the boxers to qualify this Olympics and we have a chance to win. I think that Eumir (Marcial) has a 90% chance to bring home a medal and 80% chance for the gold. That’s good enough," said Vargas.
"Looking at the determination of Irish (Magno), for the fact that she is working very hard during the pandemic – even during online – she has more than 50% chance of getting a medal."
"Si Nesthy (Petecio), pag nasaktan iyan, mas desidido na hindi kumain ng chips. So pag naskatan iyan, her heart is into it. (When Nesthy gets hurt, she resists eating chips, so when she gets hurt, her heart is into it.) When I talk to her, I know her heart is into it. Even the other 3 boxers."
World champion Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Ian Clark Bautista, James Palicted and Riza Pasuit were slated to compete in the world qualifiers in Paris that were postponed until further notice.
On Monday, June 29, half of Tokyo's residents opposed the staging of the Olympics in 2021 according to a survey carried out by two Japanese news organizations.
The boxing careers of ABAP's current crop of pugs also depend on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Philippines' top male boxer Marcial continues to receive offers to turn professional. But even if the contracts consider his upcoming participation in Tokyo 2020, the cancelation of the Olympics might force him to forego his dream of competing in the biggest stage of sports.
On the other hand, Magno will have to wait for another 3 years and it is uncertain whether she will repeat the cycle of qualifying for the Olympics.
For now, all of the national team boxers are training via online coaching and have been receiving incentives from ABAP and the MVP Sports Foundation as PSC slashed the allowances of national athletes and coaches.
Magno is slated to return to her hometown in Iloilo, while Petecio is set to make her way back to Davao.
Aside from remaining focused on training, Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers Marcial and Magno also give back to their local communities by initiating fund drives. – Rappler.com