The Philippine boxing team leaves for Bangkok on Monday for the the King’s Cup tournament in Thailand.
Six boxers, led by middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial, will carry the country’s campaign in the tough boxing competition that runs until April 9.
Marcial, gold medalist in the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games, expressed readiness and excitement for this year’s King’s Cup, the national team’s first international tournament.
“We started our training last January and I hope for a better result in Thailand. I’m very excited for my first competition this year. I will just do my best,” the 21-year Marcial told The Manila Times.
The Zamboanga native moved up to middleweight after winning the gold in the welterweight division two years ago in Singapore.
“I got taller and wider this year so I moved up from welterweight to the middleweight class. I’m not bothered though about my new weight,” he added. “The King’s Cup is one of our preparations for this year’s SEA Games in Malaysia and the world championship qualifiers.”
Besides Marcial, the other boxers are light flyweight Carlo Paalam, flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, lightweight James Palicte and welterweight Joel Bacho.
ABAP is preparing also for this year’s World Championship qualifiers on August 30 in Uzbekistan and the upcoming SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 19 to 31.
The Uzbekistan tourney is s qualifier for the 2017 World Championship slated on August 25 to September 3 in Hamburg, Germany.
Gesta wins in comeback bout over Gonzalez
Mercito “No Fear” Gesta returned in the ring with a bang after posting a unanimous decision victory over Mexican Gilberto Gonzalez of Mexico on Saturday night in a non-title bout at The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gesta, 29, who was sidelined for 17 months due to a shoulder injury, used his jabs and massive combinations to neutralize the taller Mexican. The Cebuano native, currently based in San Diego, California, got the nod of the three judges, 99-91, 98-92, 96-93.
Although he was knocked down in the third round after getting hit by Gonzalez’s upper cut, Gesta retaliated with different combinations in the succeeding rounds to recover in the match. He used his quickness to elude the desperate attacks of Gonzales in the last three rounds.
Gesta improved his record to 30-1-2 (win-loss-draw) with 16 knockouts, while the 29-year-old Gonzalez fell to 26-4 win-loss record with 22 knockouts.
Gesta’s last fight was on October 3, 2015, when he scored a unanimous win over Mexican Miguel Angel Mendoza at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California.
JOSEF T. RAMOS