ISTANBUL: Filipino fighters Rogen Ladon and Dannel Maamo are ready to rumble with the creme dela creme of the AIBA world.
Rio Olympian Ladon and Maamo, who had to walk the tightrope in earning slots to the 2017 world championships in Hamburg, Germany, set to begin Friday, are upbeat that the long journey from Manila will pay dividends.
“Sayang naman ang byahe,” said Ladon during a short layover here.
Maamo likewise expressed the same thing, stressing that the slugfest that drew the participation of close to 300 punchers from all over the globe is an opportunity to prove their worth.
“Hindi basta-basta na tournament ito kaya’t todo kami dito,” said Maamo.
Ladon and Maamo will get pointers from national coaches Nolito Velasco and Ronald Chavez, who are looking forward to making a splash.
Ladon, from Bago City, will be the first to try his luck on Friday. Maamo, a native of Cagayan de Oro City, follows the next day.
Originally, Felix Eumir Marcial was supposed to join Ladon and Maamo as he also made the grade during the Asian qualifying last May but the hard-hitting Zamboanga native was recalled to beef up the squad in the on-going Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and the Philippine Sports Commission joined hands in funding the German expedition.