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Phl punchers bag 4 golds

The triumphant Philippine boxing team in Spain strikes a pose after winning four gold medals in the BoxAm in Alicante. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ABAP

The Philippine national boxing team bagged four gold medals in the 2024 Boxam Elite Tournament in La Nucia, Alicante, Spain.

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and veteran Rogen Ladon as well as Aira Villegas and Hergie Bacyadan capped off their campaign with four mints for the eight-man national team.

Petecio scored a split decision over Hsiao-Wen Hoang of Chinese Taipei to clinch the women’s featherweight gold.

Ladon, who fought in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, got the men’s flyweight division title via a walk-over over Hungary’s Istvan Szaka.

Aira Villegas then scored a split decision over Kyzaibay Nazym of Kazakhstan for the women’s light flyweight gold.

Bacyadan, who came from the national vovinam team, scored a unanimous decision over Kazakh Yerzhan Gulsaya to rule the women’s middleweight division.

The Spanish slugfest served as a buildup for the 1st Olympic Qualification Tournament in Italy from 29 February to 12 March.

The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines lauded the performance of the Filipino fighters.

“This is not yet the Olympic Qualifiers but at least we know we’re taking good steps into that direction,” ABAP secretary general Marcus Manalo said in a social media post.

“Good job, coaches and support staff!”

The Philippines aims to increase its participants in boxing for Paris after Eumir Marcial qualified for the Olympics last year following his runner-up finish in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

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