18 February 2013

23 countries vie for ASBC Youth crown

Powerhouse China, North Korea, former Soviet republics, and the Middle Eastern bloc, including war-torn Syria, are among 23 countries that have confirmed their participation in the 2013 ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championship set March 10 to 17 at the Subic gym.

As many as 25 nations, including host Philippines, are expected to send their finest boxing youths to the tournament, and this early Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Macau, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Chinese Taipei, Turkmenistan, Iran, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have already guaranteed a slam-bang affair with their confirmation.

The magnitude of the event is not lost on Abap officials.

“This is fast becoming a logistical challenge but we are meeting it head-on,” said Abap president Ricky Vargas Saturday on the eve of the PLDT-Abap National Championships at the Maasin City gym in Southern Leyte.

“We are getting good support from the Asian Boxing Confederation and even the International Boxing Association (AIBA). As a matter of fact, AIBA president Dr. Ching Kuo Wu has already confirmed that he will attend. Likewise ASBC president Gofur Rakhimov. SBMA has also enthusiastically helping, as our friends from PLDT and Smart. We’re looking forward to a great tournament.”

AIBA technical delegate Nieva Tesoro-Embuldeniya, a Filipina from Lal-lo, Cagayan and a University of Santo Tomas graduate, and Aziz Kozhambetov, executive director of ASBC, came away impressed from an ocular inspection of the venue last week, said Abap executive director Ed Picson, who is on tap for boxers 17 to 18 years old are 10 weight divisions from 49kgs light flyweight to 91kgs super heavyweight.

“We’re hoping to field bets in six divisions,” said Picson, who is currently overseeing action in the national championships.

Maasin City Mayor Maloney Samaco, an avid sports fan, and Southern Leyte Gov. Damian Mercado have extended their full support for the Feb. 17 to 23 competition which is expected to draw 20 teams and 100 boxers from all over the country. (The Daily Tribune)