Pinoy boxers collect five gold medals

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 10, 2015 07:20 PM
Pinoy boxers collect five gold medals
Ian Bautista, who topped the men's flyweight category, was one of five Filipino boxers to earn gold medals on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE—The Philippines went 5-of-8 in Wednesday’s boxing finals to emerge as the overall champion for the sport in the 28th Southeast Asian Games at the Singapore Expo Hall.

Women’s light flyweight Josie Gabuco won her fourth Sea Games gold medal, welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial knocked out his opponent, bantamweight Mario Fernandez won by TKO, flyweight Ian Clark Bautista fought like a rampaging bull and lightweight Junel Cantancio did what he does best for the five gold medals that pushed the Philippines to fifth place in the overall medal tally.

Gabuco played smart against Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat to eke out a 3-0 victory that all but cemented her reputation as a former world champion.

“Pinag-aralan nilang mabuti ang style ko kaya medyo nahirapan ako sa laban,” said the 28-year-old Gabuco. “Kaya nagging aggressive ako at dinamihan ko ang counter punches ko.”

Marcial and Fernandez, meanwhile, booked the most impressive victories in the 10-bout finals program.

Marcial made sure his fight would not go to the judges’ card for fear of getting the raw end of the decision and knocked out Singaporean Tay Jia Wei with 48 seconds to go in the second round.

“Ganon talaga ang instruction—go for the knockout kasi Singaporean ang kalaban,” national coach Nolito Velasco said.

For Fernandez, it didn’t matter who his opponent was but he made sure Thai Tanes Ongjunta would not run away with a victory and scored the TKO 45 seconds into the second round.

Bautista also faced a Singaporean, Mohamed Hanurdeen Hamid, and although he didn’t score a knockout, the Sea Games first-timer was the clear winner although the 2-1 score favoring the Filipino was not indicative of how outclassed his opponent was.

“Nilaro nya ang laro ko,” said Bautista, who rushed from his corner right at the onset and peppered his opponent with his combinations to the delight of ABAP Secretary General Patrick Gregorio. “Hindi nga ako nakatulog sa kakaisip paano ko siya talunin pero ganun ang strategy ko, ang maging aggressive.”

A similarly aggressive fighter, Cantancio could not be denied a 2-0 victory over Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hei to help highlight the five-gold medal campaign that made the Philippines the overall champion in the sport.

Flyweight Irish Magno and bantamweight Nesthy Petecio in the women’s division and light flyweight Rogen Ladon accounted for the Philippines three silver medals that made the Filipinos the toast of boxing in this Singapore edition of the games.

Magno bowed to Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Yien, Petecio lost to another Vietnamese, Le Thi Bang, and Ladon yielded to Indonesian Kornelis Kwangu Langu—all with 1-2 scores.

Counting the bronze medals of Wilfredo Lopez and Riza Pasuit, the Philippines had a sport-best 5-3-2 tally, far better than Thailand’s 2-2-3 (gold-silver-bronze). Vietnam snatched two gold medals and Indonesia only one.

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