MANILA, Philippines -- Filipina boxer Nesthy Petecio will first focus on conditioning before sharpening her skills once more when she enters the bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna later this week.
The Philippine national boxing team, together with the karate and taekwondo teams, will train at the facility to prepare for their Olympic qualifying tournaments later this year.
For Petecio, it will be a chance to shed the weight she has put on over the past year, which saw her settle for virtual training programs rather than have actual sparring sessions.
"Focus po muna ako sa timbang ko talaga," Petecio said in a recent interview on the "PSC Hour."
"Medyo ano tayo diyan, nasa kritikal tayo pagdating sa timbang eh, 'yun po ang masasabi ko," she admitted.
Petecio, a world champion in 2019, missed out on an opportunity to secure her spot at the Tokyo Olympics in the Asia-Oceania qualifying tournament in March 2020. The subsequent final qualifying event was then postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The boxer spent most of the past year in her hometown in Davao del Sur but will finally get the chance to train with her coaches and teammates in the Calamba bubble. They expect to enter the Inspire facility this weekend.
Petecio has been honest about her struggles to maintain her weight in the past year, but she is confident that she can get back down to her fighting weight by the time the World Olympic Qualification Tournament rolls around in June.
"Alam naman po nila coach, nila Coach Nolito Velasco po, aware po sila. 'Yun po 'yung unang ipo-focus ko talaga, 'yung timbang ko po. The rest po, may tiwala po ako sa coaches ko kung ano 'yung babaguhin nila sa training ko," said Petecio.
"Kung anong training nila, gagawin ko kasi ginusto ko 'to eh na umabot 'yung timbang ko. Alam ko 'yung parusa, alam ko 'yung balik. So tiis-tiis at iyak tayo nito," she added.
Petecio is trying to join teammates Eumir Marcial and Irish Magno, both of whom secured their tickets to the Tokyo Games in the Jordan qualifiers last year.