ABAP named NSA of the year after sending 2 boxers to Tokyo Games

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2021 03:59 PM

ABAP named NSA of the year after sending 2 boxers to Tokyo Games 1

MANILA, Philippines -- The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) managed to qualify two boxers to the Tokyo Olympics, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world last year.

Middleweight Eumir Marcial and flyweight Irish Magno booked their tickets to the Olympics in the Asia and Oceania Boxing Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan, with Marcial even bagging the gold medal in the 75 kg division.

ABAP, headed by President Ricky Vargas, is hopeful that at least two more boxers will secure their spots as well, once the International Olympic Committee Boxing Task Force comes out with its final list of qualified boxers to the Tokyo Games. The final qualification tournament, set in May, had been cancelled due to the pandemic.

The federation is pinning its hopes on flyweight Carlo Paalam and bantamweight Nesthy Petecio, a former world champion, to make it based on their current rankings.

For its consistent work of sending Filipino boxers to the Olympics, ABAP will receive the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year award in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night on March 27, to be held virtually.

This is the second straight year that the boxing federation has received the award.

ABAP qualified two boxers in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics in Rogen Ladon (light flyweight) and Charly Suarez (lightweight), although none of them was able to get past the round-of-16.

This time, the federation hopes to surpass the numbers should Petecio and Paalam make it to the final qualifying list.

But the 25-year-old Marcial looms as boxing's biggest hope for a possible first ever gold medal following his impressive triumph during the Asia-Oceania qualifiers last year.

Now fighting as a pro, the native of Lunzuran, Zamboanga eked out a close 3-2 decision against Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan to win the gold and make it to the Olympics.

The 29-year-old Magno, was not fortunate to make the semifinals of the same tournament in Jordan, but clinched a berth in Tokyo after winning her box-off against Sumaiya Qosimova of Taijikistan, 5-0, to become the first Filipina boxer to reach the Olympics.

Pro golfer Yuka Saso headlines the 2020 honor roll of the country's oldest media organization headed by President Tito S. Talao, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin, as she will be recognized with the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor.

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