Promising Filipino pug Criztian Pitt Laurente has been named Best Asian Men’s Junior Boxer by the Asian Boxing Confederation (ABC).
Laurente bested Damir Toybay of Kazakhstan and Timur Merzhanov of Uzbekistan for the award.
The 16-year-old General Santos City pride made waves when he pocketed the country’s lone gold medal in the 2016 Children of Asia Games held in Yakutsk, Russia in July.
He dominated European Heydar Taliyev Cup silver medalist Taltibek Sulchar of Kazakhstan via unanimous decision (30-29, 29-28, 29-28) to bag the men’s 54-kg. bantamweight crown.
Laurente now sets his sights on the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia as well as the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Besides Laurente, national team head coach Pat Gaspi also got an award as the Best Asian Coach as well as Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) official Karina Picson who was selected as Best Asian Supervisor.
Laurente, Gaspi and Picson joined 11 other winners that include Rio 2016 Olympic Games gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan as Best Asian Man Elite Boxer and Chinese Yin Junhua, also a winner of gold medal in Rio Olympics, as Best Asian Woman Elite Boxer.
The other awardees are Hayato Tsutsumi of Japan (Best Asian Men’s Youth Boxer), Pan Sumei of China (Best Asian Women’s Youth Boxer), Yu Lisai of China (Best Asian Women’s Junior Boxer), Jasurbek Latipov of Uzbekistan (Best Asian APB Boxer), Aslanbek Shymbergenov of Kazakhstan (Best Asian WSB Boxer), Shakhram Giyasov of Uzbekistan (Asian Discovery of the Year), Billy Vong of Macau (Best Asian ITO), Jingjing Zhang of China (Best Asian R&J) and the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation (Best Asian National Federation).
In 2013, Singapore Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial bagged the Best Asian Youth Boxer award while ABAP was the Best Asian National Federation.
EMIL C. NOGUERA