Pinoy boxer Mario Fernandez begs off Olympic Qualifiers due to cataract

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 13, 2016 07:02 PM
Cataracts force Pinoy boxer Fernandez out of Rio qualifiers
"It was Mario himself who decided he could not concentrate fully with the thought of his eye condition in the back of his mind" - ABAP Executive Director Ed Picson on Mario Fernandez's condition. (Photo courtesy of AIBA.org)

Unfortunately for two-time SEA Games boxing gold medalist Mario Fernandez, a shot at the Olympics will have to take a back seat, as he has been forced to skip the upcoming qualifying tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan, after being diagnosed with a cataracts in his left eye. 

According to a statement from the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines or ABAP, the Pinoy bantamweight was set to head to the final AOB Qualifying Event in Baku Tuesday morning, but began to suffer from double-vision while training up in Baguio City. 

An initial checkup from an ophthalmologist revealed that Fernandez had cataracts in his left eye. A second-opinion in Manila confirmed the diagnosis. 

According to ABAP Executive Director Ed Picson, it was Fernandez himself who decided not to push through. 

"It was Mario himself who decided he could not concentrate fully with the thought of his eye condition in the back of his mind", said Picson. 

“"Although it is not life-threatening nor a serious condition, this is boxing and the cause of the condition was trauma so we didn't want to take the risk. We would rather he continue with the tests and treatment the doctors have lined up for him and hopefully he can fully recover and fight another day.”

According to ABAP President Ricky Vargas though Picson, Fernandez’s medical needs will be taken care of.

Fernandez was set to fly with fellow Pinoy boxing bets Ian Clark Bautista and Eumir Felix Marcial to compete for spots in the upcoming 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, alongside Rogen Ladon and Charly Suarez. 

The Bukidnon-native came up a bit short in his last Qualifiers opportunity just this past April in China after placing fourth in the Asia/Oceania Qualifiers, finishing fourth in a weight class that only had three open Olympic slots. 

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