Philippine pugs begin campaign in AIBA meet

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General Santos City pride Roldan Boncales will jumpstart the four-man national team’s campaign in the AIBA (International Boxing Association) World Boxing Championships being held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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Boncales is the first Filipino to take centerstage when he goes up against 2008 Beijing Olympics veteran Eddie Barillas of Guatemala in the flyweight division. The game was scheduled on Monday night in Almaty (Tuesday morning in Manila).

Indonesia Southeast Asian Games champion Dennis Galvan is next in line, facing Azerbaijan’s London Olympics veteran Gaybatulla Godzhialiyev in the light-welterweight match.

London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga and Mario Fernandez are the last Filipino fighters to see action in the tournament participated in by a total of 457 boxers from 100 countries.

Barriga battles 2011 SEA Games silver medalist Ngoc Huynh of Vietnam in the light-flyweight class while Fernandez takes on Imran Khan of Guyana in the bantamweight category.

“There are more boxers and countries here than in the Olympics. We face some tough fights but the boys have prepared well. There are no weight problems, they’re eating and training well and they’ve adjusted well to the weather, since we arrived 4 days before Opening day,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines executive director Ed Picson.

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