Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Asian boxing tourney set in RP

BOXING officials said the country's chances in the Asian Games this November will be tested under an international tournament on July 14 to 19 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
The Filipino boxers, who will be sent to training camps in Los Angeles and San Francisco on August and the Women's World Championships in Barbados this September, will have to face opposition from six other nations.

"Of course, all these preparations are geared toward an excellent showing in the Asian Games in Guangzhou this November," said Ed Picson, executive director of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines.
Patterned after the Mayor's Cup, the MVP International Friendship Cup offers $1,000 for every gold medal won. It has drawn nearly 80 fighters from China, Chinese-Taipei, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Hong Kong.
The sixth participant, Mongolia, backed out a few days ago but Picson said Macau is willing to fill in the slot, "pending approval of their request to their government ministry."
"This is in response to the clamor from the international boxing community for the country to once again host a boxing tournament," said ABAP president Ricky Vargas.
"Most boxing officials have fond memories of the Mayor's Cup, and the new leaders at ABAP have been getting requests to revive the tournament."
The Mayor's Cup had drawn at least 20 countries during its heydays, and ABAP, said Picson, is starting small but hopes to eventually get bigger as before.
"But we'll do our best to revive its lost glory," Picson said.
The old boxing tourney has seen the rise of world amateur boxing champions like Russia's Konstantin Tszyu, Thailand's Somluck Kamsing, and North Korea's 1992 Barcelona Olympics champion Choi Choi Su.
The Mayor's Cup also paved the way for the discovery of local heroes, including Olympian brothers Mansueto and Roel Velasco, among others.
Philippine team
The Philippines will field two teams to compete in seven weight categories in the men's division and four of five categories in the women's class.
Expected to don the Philippine colors are Charly Suarez, brothers Rey and Victor Saludar, and Annie Albania. The young boxers are currently training under coach Nolito 'Boy' Velasco.
A fifth boxer, youthful Mark Anthony Barriga, was delisted after he underwent an appendectomy recently.
Box-offs are currently being conducted in Baguio City to determine the composition of the two RP teams. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)
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