MANILA, Philippines - One hundred nine boxers from 19 teams and clubs all over Mindanao are slugging it out for top honors in various divisions in the PLDT-ABAP Mindanao area boxing tournament which got under way Tuesday at the Lagao gym in Gen. Santos City.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas has expressed his gratitude for the support given by the city government, headed by Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio, to ensure the successful staging of the six-day talent search organized by the Amateur Boxing Association of the Phils.
“We are happy and honored to hold the Mindanao tournament in GenSan. The local government headed by Mayor Darlene has shown great enthusiasm and proficient organizational savvy that’s sure to contribute to an exciting and productive tournament,” Vargas said. “Everyone is upbeat when the boxing tournament is in GenSan.”
In the last 3 1/2 years, Mindanao has produced, among others, world junior champion Eumir Marcial (Zamboanga), Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (Davao del Norte) and recent Taipei City gold medalist Mario Fernandez (Bukidnon). This month, Jade Bornea of GenSan will see action in the World Youth Championships in Yerevan, Armenia.
GenSan, formerly known as Dadiangas City, boasts of world champion Manny Pacquiao and former world title holder Rolando Navarrete. Another world champion Nonito Donaire spent his childhood years in the city.
Overseeing the tournament are ABAP executive director Ed Picson, three-star international referee Dante de Castro, and international technical officials Jesus San Esteban and Karina Picson.