THE Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines has named five male and one female boxer to the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qian’An, China.
Executive director Ed Picson announced the line-up composed of Rogen Ladon (light flyweight, 49 kg.), Roldan Boncales (flyweight, 52 kg.), Mario Fernandez (bantamweight, 56 kg.), Charly Suarez (60 kg.), Eumir Felix Marcial (welterweight, 69 kg.) and Nesthy Petecio (women’s flyweight, 51 kg.).
The six were part of a group of 14 boxers who went on a whirlwind 18-day training camp in 4 cities in the West Coast of the United States, namely Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas and drew praise from American coaches for their impressive showing.
The roster was based on recommendations from the four coaches, who traveled with the group--Deputy Head Coach Nolito Velasco, Women’s Head Coach Roel Velasco, 3-star AIBA coach and 3-time Olympian Romeo Brin and the only female coach in ABAP, Mitchel Martinez.
ABAP Head Coach Pat Gaspi was unable to make the trip as he was in Manchester, England attending the AIBA Coaches’ Commission meeting, where he is a member. Gaspi is the chairman of the Asian Coaches Commission.
By all accounts, the ABAP Olympic boxing hopefuls benefited from what delegation head Ed Picson said was “definitely a rewarding trip.”
The roster of 15 boxers, which included three females, trained at the gym of Dodong Donaire, father/trainer of five-division world champion Nonito Donaire in Oakland, California, the University of San Francisco Gym and the Top Rank and Fight Club Gyms in Las Vegas over a three-week period.
Picson told The Standard that “the boxers are peaking at the right time,” as they prepare for the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Qan’ An, China from March 23 to April 3.
Although some boxers were hit by episodes of coughs and colds because it was really cold especially in Las Vegas, it didn’t stop them from training.
Nonito Donaire helped his trainer/father in giving the boxers some drills and kept urging the boxers on while training.
Picson said it was “really very productive” as Donaire gave the fighters a motivational/inspirational talk, which was set to last 10 minutes but went on for over 30 minutes “because Nonito spoke from the heart.”