Public more interested in SEA Games than the Worlds, Picson says
“We had to consider public perception,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson in relation to which boxers would be fielded in at the SEA Games in Malaysia from August 19 to 31.
The ABAP has also set its sights on the world championships in Hamburg, Germany, to be held from August 25 to September 2.
“It seems that the public is more aware and concerned with the SEA Games rather than the world championship,” Picson was quoted to have said in a report on ABS-CBN News. “While people have been asking us about the SEA Games, no one has been asking us about the worlds. The SEA Games seems to be of more interest to the public.”
Leading the country’s roster of boxers to Kuala Lumpur are defending SEA Games champions Ian Clark Bautista (flyweight) and Mario Fernandez (bantamweight).
The group will also include Carlo Paalam (light flyweight), Charly Suarez (light-welterweight), Eumir Felix Marcial (middleweight) and Marvin Tupas (light heavyweight).
Marcial could’ve been included in the lineup for the Hamburg worlds, but Picson decided to instead send him to Kuala Lumpur.
Flyweight Daniel Maamo will be joined in Hamburg by light-flyweight Rogen Ladon, who won bronze in the 2015 worlds.
While the Philippines bagged five gold medals in the 2015 SEA Games, the country has taken home five medals overall in the history of the world championships.
Aside from Ladon, light-flyweight Harry Tañamor took home one silver (2007) and two bronze medals (2001, 2003). Light-flyweight Roel Velasco won a silver in 1997.
August would be a busy month for the country’s amateur boxers, added Picson.
The ABAP recently announced that it would host from Aug. 1 to 8 the Asian Junior Boxing Championships, a tournament that will gather the best boxers, aged 15 to 16, from about 20 to 30 countries. Puerto Princesa will be the host province.
Picson said the ABAP is focused on preparing for the Asian youth tournament. “Our counterparts are putting a lot of emphasis on this age-group because this is where it all begins as the boxers get to the Youth Championships (17-18 years) and then the elite level,” ABS-CBN News quoted Picson.