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Banner year beckons Pinoy boxers

All three medalists in Tokyo — Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial and lady puncher Nesthy Petecio — remain in the mix and appear poised to see action in their second straight Olympic Games.

PHOTOGRAPH courtesy of JARWIN MANALO The national boxing team is determined to retain its momentum when it sees action in the Paris Olympics next year.

After punching above their weight in Tokyo by going home with two silver and one bronze medals, the Philippine national boxing team is going all-out in its assault for slots to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

All three medalists in Tokyo — Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial and lady puncher Nesthy Petecio — remain in the mix and appear poised to see action in their second straight Olympic Games.

Paalam and Petecio were the silver medalists while Marcial was the bronze medal winner.

To make it to Paris, the trio, along with the rest of the national team holed up in Baguio City, will get their first chance to qualify during the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, this September-October.

More than half of the 248 Olympic slots will be filled during the continental games like the Asiad.

The International Olympic Committee will complete the roster of participants when it holds two world qualification meets during the first few months of 2024.

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines plans to send Olympic candidates to Thailand, China and even Ireland to train and compete in events.

Abap secretary general Marcus Manalo said the squad bound for the Asian Games will have to go through box-offs just like in the past in an effort to maximize the chances of medaling in Paris.

The excitement is building up as Marcial, the most famous among the three Tokyo heroes, has pledged to represent the country in China.

But while Marcial brings to the Asian Games a wealth of experience, it remains to be seen if he can fully adjust campaigning in a heavier weight class.

Though the Zamboanga southpaw will continue to fight as a middleweight, the weight limit has been changed from 75 kilograms to 80 kilograms.

Even Marcial himself swears he will likely be looking like a blown-up fighter.

Another thing that kind of presenting problems is the fact that Marcial’s pro handlers and promoter might end up not allowing their investment to compete given his priority.

But even without Marcial, the Philippine team will be there fighting ‘til the end.

Besides, historically speaking, boxing is the most popular contributor to the country’s meager collection.

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