MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) punched its way to the honor roll of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night as the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year.
This, after the Filipino boxers stamped their class all over the world in 2019, winning golds from regional competitions all the way to the world level.
Their feat earned ABAP yet another NSA of the Year award from the PSA, which will honor the top sports personalities and organizations from 2019 on March 6 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.
Nesthy Petecio was at the forefront of ABAP's successful campaign in 2019. The 27-year-old finally scored a breakthrough gold medal in the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia after beating hometown bet Liudmila Vorontsova by split decision to rule the featherweight division.
Eumir Marcial just fell short of matching Petecio's gold medal, as he settled for the silver in the same world tournament for men in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Marcial is just the third Filipino to win a silver after light-flyweight Roel Velasco (1997) and Harry Tanamor (2007).
Not to be left out was former world champion Josie Gabuco.
The 32-year-old veteran went home with the gold in the ASBC (Asian Boxing Confederation) Elite Boxing Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand, defeating North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi in the finals of the women's light-flyweight category.
Before Petecio, Gabuco was an AIBA women's world champion in 2012.
The three boxers also bannered the Filipinos' productive stint in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, which saw the Philippine boxing team emerge as overall champion.
Petecio, Gabuco, and Marcial made up part of the team's seven-gold haul to beat perennial rival Thailand for the sport's overall title.
It was a first ever gold for Petecio, who settled for silver from 2011 to 2015. Marcial won a third straight SEA Games gold, while Gabuco now has a record-setting five gold medals.
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