PH boxers back to training after Thailand Open campaign

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 10 2022 09:26 PM

Rogen Ladon (right) connects with a left uppercut to Amit Panghal of India during their men's flyweight gold medal bout in the 2022 Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament at the Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort Hotel. Handout photo
Rogen Ladon (right) connects with a left uppercut to Amit Panghal of India during their men's flyweight gold medal bout in the 2022 Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament at the Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort Hotel. Handout photo

MANILA - The Philippine national boxing team seeks to fine-tune its game, as it heads into the final stage of preparations for the 31st Southeast Asian Games and the 2022 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships.

The national team is coming off a successful campaign in the 2022 Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament at the Angsana Laguna Phuket Resort Hotel. Of the 14 Filipinos who saw action, five clinched podium finishes.

Rogen Ladon (men's flyweight), Riza Pasuit (women's light) and Hergie Bacyadan (women's middle) snared gold medals while Ian Clark Bautista (men's feather) and Aira Villegas (women's fly) seized silvers. It was the country's best performance in the tournament organized by the Thailand Boxing Association headed by its president and concurrent Asian Boxing Confederation chief Pichai Chunhavajira.

Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Marcus Manalo said the Thailand Open tested the Pinoy boxers' current mettle and that gave them a clearer view of what to work on after a two-week pre-competition training camp in Muak Lek, just outside Bangkok.

"There's some catching up to do particularly on the conditioning side. What happened here in this Thailand Open is really a feedback for us. Whether we won or we came up short, it's feedback," said Manalo, who led the Philippine delegation along with ABAP president Ed Picson and veteran boxing official Karina Picson.

"'Yung mga early losses natin it's an indication lang na some of the boxers are not yet there in terms of their peak performance, which is fine. The reason why we joined here is to know where we are right now," added Manalo, a mental performance coach and a graduate of sport and exercise psychology from Texas Tech University.

The Filipino boxers returned to Muak Lek the morning after the conclusion of the Thailand Open. There, they will resume training for four to five weeks before flying straight to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi for the SEA Games scheduled from May 12 to 23.

Meanwhile, Villegas flew back to the Philippines along with coach Reynaldo Galido to arrange visa requirements for the Women's World Championships from May 6 to 21 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Head coach Don Abnett said the athletes' base fitness is fine and they will make the most out of their limited time to bring them back to tip-top shape.

"They've done general training before they got here so the base fitness is okay. Next week we're gonna get into the boxing specifics. We'll see what happens in the next few weeks," said the Australian tactician, who is getting help from coaches Roel Velasco, Ronald Chavez, Mitchel Martinez and Galido.

"We would've liked to have it (training camp) four or five weeks longer. But we'll do what we can with the time that we have," he added.

Manalo lauded the Thailand Boxing Association for hosting the training camp as well as the Thailand Open that drew 14 boxing federations across Asia, Europe and Oceania, including the Philippines' Southeast Asian rivals in Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, besides host nation Thailand.

"Good thing our friends from the Thailand Boxing Association offered this opportunity to train in Muak Lek. That really provides us with the best challenge that can push our boxers to be at their best pagdating ng SEA Games and also the Women's World Championships," said Manalo.