A contingent from the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) headed by 2015 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial left on Wednesday to compete in the Asian Boxing Confederation (ABC) Championship that will be held from April 30 to May 7 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The tournament serves as a qualifying event for the upcoming Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Boxing Championships slated in Hamburg, Germany on August 25 to September 3.
Besides the middleweight Marcial, the other members of the Philippine team are Joel Bacho (welterweight), Mario Bautista (bantamweight), Rogen Ladon (light flyweight); Daniel Maamo (flyweight) and James Palicte (lightweight).
“We leave everything to God,” Marcial told The Manila Times in a phone interview prior to the team’s departure. “We’ve trained very hard and we’re hoping we qualify for the world championship. Our condition is also okay.”
Marcial expects a strong field in the qualifying tournament. “It’s not going to be easy but we’re ready.”
The six-man boxing team is accompanied by coaches Nolito Velasco, Renaldo Galido and Elias Recaido.
ABAP Executive Director Ed Picson said the boxers have promised to do their best to qualify for the world championship against formidable foes from Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
A total of 200 boxers from 29 countries are expected to join the qualifying tournament.
JOSEF T. RAMOS