Veteran female boxers Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio stunned their Chinese opponents to reach the finals of the 2013 China Open International Boxing Tournament at the Guizhou Gymnasium in Guiyang.
The 26-year-old Gabuco, a gold medalist in the 2012 World Championships, outclassed London Olympics silver medalist and three-time world champion Ren Cancan via unanimous decision in the flyweight category.
Petecio also was thrust into the spotlight by trouncing Liu Chang, the reigning lightweight national champion in China, in the bantamweight class. Petecio won by majority decision, 2-1, after the judges favored her 40-36 and 39-37. The third judge had 39-37 for the Chinese.
Gabuco will be gunning for the gold medal when she battles another Chinese, Xu Shiqi, while Petecio takes on Alexis Pritchard of New Zealand in the other championship match.
In the men’s division, London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga and Junel Cantancio advanced to the semifinals in their weight classes.
Barriga scored a 2-1 majority decision (30-26, 28-29, 30-27) over 2011 World Junior Championships silver medalist Naveen Kumar in light flyweight. Cantancio won via unanimous decision (28-25, 28-25, 28-25) over Colin John of Mauritius in lightweight.
In the semifinals, Barriga faces Chinese Xu Chao and Cantancio meets Chinese Wang Bo.
Another Filipino, Nico Magliquian, absorbed a 1-2 loss to Ajay Kumar of India in the bantamweight class.
EMIL C. NOGUERA