• PH pugs plunge into China Open

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    boxing-Barriga20130618

    Mark Anthony Barriga CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    The national boxing team left for Guiyang, China on Sunday to compete in the 2013 China Open International Boxing Tournament.

    Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga (light-flyweight) will spearhead the country’s campaign in the men’s division along with Ian Clark Bautista (flyweight), Mario Fernandez (bantamweight) and Junel Cantancio (lightweight).

    Seeing action in the women’s category are World Championships gold medalist Josie Gabuco (flyweight) and Southeast Asian Games veteran Nesthy Petecio (bantamweight).

    They will be mentored by national coaches Pat Gaspi, Roel Velasco and Elias Recaido, and Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.

    “It’s going to be a tough tournament, but should be a good preparation for the World

    Championship and the SEA Games,” said Picson.

    More than 150 boxers from 20 countries are in attendance including Olympic champions Alexey Tishchenko and Rakhim Chakkhiev of Russia, Olympic super heavyweight champion Roberto Cammarelle of Italy, and Olympic silver medalists Andris Laffita Hernandez and Emilio Correa Bayeaux of Cuba.

    Leading the Chinese squad are Olympic gold medalists Zou Shiming and Zhang Xiaoping.

    The tournament has already started on Monday night and will run until June 24.

    Besides the China Open, the national team will participate in the Asian Elite

    Championship in Aman, Jordan on June 30 to July 9, World Championship in Almaty, Kazakhstan on October 11 to 27, and the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on December 11 to 22.

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