LAGUNA, Philippines – By day, Christian Pitt Laurente and Crizsander Laurente are high school students at Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College in General Santos City.
But when the pencils drop and the gloves come on, they become two of the best under-18 amateur boxers in the Philippines.
The two brothers asserted their dominance on the national scene on Friday, May 9, winning Palarong Pambansa gold medals in their respective weight classes in Laguna, Philippines.
Representing the Soccskargen region, Christian, 14, outboxed Dominique Casaneres of Central Visayas to win top honors in the light paperweight (42 kilogram, or 92 pounds), while Crizsander, 15, brawled his way to a decision victory over Ven Joshua Vanguardia of Davao to win the pinweight (46 kilograms, or 101 pounds) laurel.
Crizsander was participating in his first Palaro while Christian was competing in his fifth, having won three golds in boxing and a bronze in taekwondo.
Both credit their father Cristino, an overseas seaman with introducing them to contact sports, beginning with the aforementioned combat sport when the boys were 5 and 6 years old.
“Gusto ko lang po talaga magboxing kasi gusto ko po ng body-contact sports po. Yun po talaga yung gusto kong sports. Yung mga taekwondo, yan. Mga body-contact sports,” said Christian.
(I took up boxing because I wanted to do body-contact sports, that’s what I’m really into. Body-contact sports like Taekwondo, that’s what I like.)
But before they hit their opponents, they first must hit the books, their father insists.
“I tell them ‘No schooling, no boxing,’” said Crisanto.
Crizsanto is adamant about following in hometown hero Manny Pacquiao’s shoes, not only to the world of pro boxing but also in spiritual matters.
“I want to be a champion like Pacquiao, and I also want to be a pastor.”
The younger Christian is less certain about becoming a professional but seems confident in pursuing a career as a teacher.
Obtaining college degrees would make their father proud, but picking up the nation’s top amateur boxing accolades back-to-back is enough to bring a smile to his face tonight.
“I’m so happy. They train hard and they’re disciplined,” said Crisanto.
Light mosquitoweight (38kg) – Lloyd Antoque (Central Visayas) defeated Wiljon Mindoro (Calabarzon)
Mosquitoweight (40kg) – Niel Cyril Basillote (Western Visayas) defeated Vicente Sios-e Jr. (Central Visayas)
Light flyweight (49kg) – Jaye Arre Arcilla (NCR) defeated Paul Julyfer Bascon (Davao)
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