SINGAPORE: Former women’s boxing world champion Josie Gabuco claimed her fourth straight SEA Games gold medal on Wednesday as Vietnam took two of the other three titles on offer.
Gabuco, the first Filipina to win gold at the women’s world boxing championships in 2012, took a unanimous decision against Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat in the light flyweight final.
The 28-year-old’s experience proved telling as she outboxed her opponent, the 2014 world championships bronze medallist, in the last two rounds.
The victory saw Gabuco maintain her winning run in the regional competition following gold medals at Vientiane in 2009, Jakarta in 2011 and Naypyidaw two years ago.
“I’m very happy and I’m very grateful for this. Thanks to God for giving me another opportunity to get another gold medal at the SEA Games,” said Gabuco, who is hoping to earn a spot at next year’s Olympics.
“It was hard for me. My opponent is a good boxer who has done well in a lot of competitions. But maybe my experience was important because I have almost 12 years of boxing and I can see the weaknesses and strengths of my opponents.
“It’s nice to win this though especially after last year which was not good for me as I lost all of my competitions — the world championships, the Asian Games and the China Open.”
While there was joy for Gabuco, there was disappointment for her compatriots Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio after they lost to Vietnamese boxers in their finals.
Magno lost a split flyweight decision to 2013 runner-up Nguyen Thi Yen, while Petecio had the same result against Le Thi Bang at bantamweight — her third straight SEA Games silver.
Thailand’s Tassamalee Thongjan won featherweight gold after she defeated Indonesia’s Christina Jembay by unanimous decision in the final.