Pinay pugs seek redemption in Worlds

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After failing to live up to expectations in the last Asian Games in Incheon, the Philippines’ lady boxers seek to redeem themselves with a strong showing in the 2014 AIBA World Women’s Boxing Championships slated Nov. 13-25 in Jeju Island, Korea.

According to coach Roel Velasco, the lady pugs have been training intensively in Baguio the last four weeks in a determined effort to make up for their medal-less stint in Incheon.

“Kulang pa yung naibigay namin doon sa Asian Games, kaya pinaghahandaan namin itong worlds. Sana maging maganda ang resulta (We felt the Asian Games performance wasn’t good enough so we’re preparing hard for the world meet. Hopefully, we can get a good result this time),” said Velasco.

The women’s team was touted to contend for medals in the last Asiad, but 2012 world champ Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio both bombed out in the quarterfinals.

“Lesson learned yung Asian Games. Nahirapan ding mag-adjust ang mga boksingero natin para ma-meet yung weight kasi hindi naman nila timbang yung nilabanan nila doon (The boxers had difficulty adjusting fighting in a different weight divisions in Incheon),” said Velasco.

Only three weight categories were played in women’s boxing in Incheon: 51kgs, 60kgs and 70kgs. Gabuco, a natural 48kgs campaigner, competed against flyweights, while Petecio, a featherweight, battled lightweights.

The world meet will feature a full program of 10 categories, allowing the Phl lady pugs to return to their original fighting weights.

Velasco said the Association of Boxing Alliance of the Philippines (ABAP) will field three bets in the worlds, with Gabuco disputing the lightfly slot with Maricris Igam and Petecio contesting the featherweight berth with Riza Pasuit. Irish Magno and Aira Villegas are fighting for the flyweight spot.

Team Phl is looking to at least match the performance in the 2012 worlds in Qinhuangdao, China, where Gabuco won the lightfly gold, beating Xu Shiqi of host China in

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