GENERAL SANTOS CITY--Philippine Sports Institute (PSI) Training Director Marc Velasco would like the PSC-Pacquiao Boxing Amateur Cup to serve as a regular goldmine of boxing talents in the country.
Velasco, the man in charge of the Philippine Sports Commission’s grassroots development program, said he will work with the Amateur Boxing Alliance of the Philippines (ABAP) to make improvements and institutionalize the tournament.
“Boxing has proven to be one of our best sources of medals in international tournaments, especially in the Olympics. I believe it’s high time that we should be ultra-focus on this combat sport.,” said Velasco during the opening of the PSC-Pacquiao Boxing Cup at Robinson’s Place here in the hometown of boxing icon and now Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“The PSC-Pacquiao boxing will attract young boxers and produce the best talents that will expand our boxing pool.”
Velasco’s view is shared by ABAP official Rogelio Fortaleza, the PSC-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup supervising technical director.
"Our objective here is to scout potential boxers for the national team. We are crossing our fingers na marami kaming madiscover."
The Mindanao leg, which unfurled nine boxing bouts in the two-day eliminations, has attracted a total of 90 boxers from 17 areas in the island.
Malungon, Sarangani has 11 boxers while Barangay Aglayan of Malaybalay, Barangay Labangal and Digos City has eight entries each.
The Davao City boxing team, which originally brought eight boxers, only has seven boxers eligible to play after the official weigh-in held at Lagao Gym.
Kidapawan City fielded six pugs along with Sultan Kudarat as Koronadal City and Polomolok, South Cotabato each sent four boxers.
"Yung gagawing preliminary bouts eh yung mga weight classes lang na maraming entries. The rest didiretso na sa Mindanao quarterfinals na gaganapin sa Kidapawan on February 10 and 11," Fortaleza said.
Gracing the opening were General Santos City Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera, PSC Commissioner Celia Kiram, PSC executive director lawyer Sannah B. Frivaldo.