12 March 2013

Tough Opening Fights Loom

Three of the Fab Five of the PLDT-ABAP Philippine youth team drew tough opening day bouts late Monday in the 2013 ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championships at the Subic gym.

Ian Clark Bautista will debut against India’s Kavinder Bisht in the 52 kilogram flyweight division, James Palicte faces Japan’s Yuuta Akiyama in the 60kg lightweight class, and World Youth champion Eumir Felix Marcial opens against Turkmenistan’s Shamurat Cherkezov in the 64kg light welterweight category.

Two other Filipino boxers within the 17 to 18 years age bracket, Jonas Bacho (56kgs/bantamweight)and World Junior bronze medalist Jade Bornea (49kgs/light flyweight) are scheduled to climb the ring Tuesday as the tournament backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, PLDT, Smart, NLEX, Maynilad, Clarktel, Subictel, Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Videogear Inc., Exile Lights and Sound, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Sports Commission, and supported by Sony Philippines, Coca-Cola Bottlers, and Nestle Philippines heats up.

“Magandang laban ito,” said national coach Elmer Pamisa. “Umpisa pa lang, magkaka-alaman na agad.”

Following the morning’s medical and general weigh-in at the Subic International Hotel, the official draw commenced at 10 a.m. The first set of preliminaries opens the curtains at 2 p.m. followed by a one-hour opening ceremony and the second batch at 7 p.m.

Four of the 26 countries that have originally assured their presence have backed out at the last minutes for various reasons – Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, and Syria.

A twin-engine PLDT chopper owned by telecommunications tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan was to fly Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the International Boxing Federation (AIBA), to this Zambales coastal town where he ASBC executive director Aziz Kozhambetov will be the guests of honor. (Tito S. Talao, Manila Bulletin)