‘Unnoticed’ female boxing champion Abaniel fights for Philippine pride

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Gretchen Abaniel (center)

Gretchen Abaniel (center)

Filipina world boxing champion Gretchen Abaniel has successfully represented the Philippines in international competitions despite lack of publicity. This year, the Puerto Princesa, Palawan native has already defended her Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) and World Boxing Council (WBC) International minimum weight belts.

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“Nobody has noticed my accomplishments except my friends and relatives who supported me all the way, but that’s fine with me as long as I’m winning for our country,” the 28-year-old Abaniel told The Manila Times.

Abaniel, who is rated No. 3 in the world, knocked out Buangern Onesongchaigym of Thailand in the fifth round on May 24 in Sydney, Australia to win the WIBA title.

She took the WBC title from Nongnun Mor Krungthepthonburi, also of Thailand, via fifth round technical knockout on February 7 in Biñan, Laguna.

“I want to show my fellow Filipinos that I’m their world boxing champion and I’m willing to win and represent my country in any international boxing competitions,” she said.

Abaniel, who now resides in Western Bicutan Taguig City, is scheduled to defend her title against either WBC rated No. 8 pug Japanese Mako Yamada on July 26 or Mexican pugilist Anabel Ortiz on July 23, depending on her promoter’s choice.

“Right now, I’m training here in the country at the Philippine Navy boxing gym under Florencio Ferrer and when I get back to Australia I’m going to train under Australian coach Tony Delviccio. I’m in a good condition and ready to fight,” Abaniel said.

Besides Abaniel (15-5 win-loss record with six knockouts), the other notable Filipina boxer is former World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton, who is now also a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter competing in One fighting Championship. Abaniel also competes in MMA.

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