The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines under its new president Ed Picson is fielding a team to the Asian Under-22 Boxing Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from Jan. 20 to 30.
Picson, however, said this means that the six men and two women who will vie in event, including their coaches and sparring partners, will have to sacrifice and set aside any plans for the Christmas holidays.
“We have already informed all our boxers and coaches that we have a Christmas break from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8. But then the invitation came out so we had to sadly inform them,” said Picson on Tuesday.
The newly-elected ABAP president told the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that even sparring partners were told to join the preparations in Baguio City, and they all obliged.
“Wala munang Christmas break para sa mga lalahok,” said Picson, who has yet to divulge the names of those who will represent the country in the first international competition for the team.
“This means tuloy-tuloy ang training ng boxers in Baguio,” Picson told the forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
It will also be the first tournament for the national team with Picson at the helm following the ABAP election last Nov. 25. He replaced long-time president Ricky Vargas who assumed the post of chairman.
The Filipino boxers will then look forward to the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi in May, a major event that coincides with the Women’s World Championships in Turkey, and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September.
“Kasabay na kasabay ng SEA Games and women’s world which was originally set this month and was moved to March and now to May,” said Picson, who found the sudden conflict in schedule quite unfortunate.