MANILA, Philippines — BOXING competitions in the 30th Southeast Asian Games start today (Wednesday 04 December 2019) with former world champion Josie Gabuco and two others jumpstarting the Philippines’ campaign at the PICC Forum.
Gabuco, 32, who won a gold in the 2012 AIBA World Championships in China, will have her hands full as she squares off with Raksat Chuthamat of Thailand in the women’s light-flyweight (45-48 kg) class.
A native of Puerto Princessa, Palawan, Gabuco is gunning for a fifth gold in the SEA Games, having previously won from 2009 to 2015.
The official draw was held Tuesday afternoon.
Two other Filipinas – Aira Villegas and veteran Irish Magno – will see action on opening day.
Villegas, a bantamweight (54 kg) who won a silver medal in the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Bulgaria this year, takes on Vilayphone Vongphachan of Laos, while Magno, also a silver medal winner in the same Bulgarian tilt, will clash with Leona Hui of Singapore in the women’s flyweight (51 kg).
Carlo Paalam will be the lone male Filipino boxer to see action on opening day.
A bronze medal winner in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, the 21-year-old Paalam takes on Khamphouvanh Khamsathone of Laos in the men’s light-flyweight class.
A total of 13 gold medals will be at stake in the sport, including eight in the men’s division.
Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary-general Ed Picson said the main objective of ABAP is to emerge as overall champion of the meet.
“I’m confident our boxers are well prepared, properly motivated, and well-conditioned,” he said. “We will go for the overall championships in boxing.”
Boxing produced two gold medals in the last edition of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur two years ago in Eumir Felix Marcial and John Marvin, although it fell a medal short of winning the overall title against perennial rival Thailand. (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)