Two Filipino boxers opened the Philippine campaign in the ASBC Elite Championships in Amman, Jordan with contrasting results — Mario Fernandez dropping a close bout and James Palicte winning convincingly in his own match.
The 29-year-old veteran Fernandez lost a close 3-2 decision to the host country’s Yousef Iashash in their featherweight match (57 kg) on 2 November, Day 2 of the competition.
The airman from Bukidnon gave a spirited fight, connecting with snappy combinations, but had his hands full as the wily Jordanian employed unorthodox tactics to earn the nod of the judges from Morocco, Italy, and Kyrgyzstan.
Judges from Bulgaria and India were in favor of Fernandez.
Meanwhile, Bago City’s James Palicte, 28, fighting at the 63.5 kg light welterweight class, bucked a rather listless first round to take the next two rounds — picking up the pace against Iraqi Jaafar Abdulreal Sudani and clinching the bout, 4-1.
ABAP coaches Don Abnett, Roel Velasco and Gerson Nietes were at ringside for both fights.
There are 13 Filipino boxers in the championships (7 men, 6 women) including Tokyo Olympians Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Irish Magno.
Women’s coaches are Reynaldo Galido and Mitchel Martinez.
ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo is team manager.