ABAP voted for pro boxers in Olympics
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 02, 2016 06:36 PM
FOR COUNTRY? (From L-R) Mark Magsayo, Donnie Nietes, and brothers Albert and Jason Pagara are some of the best boxers in the country. Could we one day see them representing the Philippines in the Olympics?
Earlier this week, the International Boxing Association or AIBA announced that professional boxers would be allowed to compete in the Olympics, beginning with this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
84 out of a possible 88 member federations voted in favor of the ruling that would allow some of the world’s best sluggers get the chance to represent their country.
But with around ten weeks to go before the start of the Summer Games, it’s still unsure how many professional boxers will get to actually wear their country’s colors.
Among the 84 member federations who voted in favor was the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, or ABAP, as revealed by president Ricky Vargas, who believes that the Philippines can get the same stellar results in the Olympics as they do in professional boxing.
With names like Donnie Nietes, Johnriel Casimero, Mark Magsayo and Albert Pagara among many others, it’s hard to argue with Vargas on that matter.
Still, it’s highly unlikely that any of these names would be suiting up for the country this year. A qualifying tournament will be held in Venezuela this July, right around the same time Albert Pagara is scheduled to take on Cesar Juarez. Donnie Nietes and Mark Magsayo are both scheduled to fight in the US in September, with Nietes possibly moving up in weight.
As it stands, the Philippines has two amateur bets already on their way to Rio in Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez. A handful of amateurs are also set to fight for a spot in the Olympics in another qualifying tournament in Azerbaijan this June.
The format of the olympic boxing tournament greatly differs from how professional boxers compete, as a pro will fight around two to three times a year with a full fight camp, while olympic boxers compete in three-round matches every day for ten days, should they continue to advance.
with a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News