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Laurente targets Paris stint


If he gets lucky and gets a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, unbeaten professional fighter Criztian Pitt Laurente will find himself in the company of a solid cast in the 63.5 kilogram class.

A holder of a 12-0 win-loss mark with seven knockouts, the southpaw Laurente has joined the Philippine boxing team in its buildup for the second and last World Olympic Qualification Tournament scheduled late-May to early-June in Bangkok.

There will be 20 boxers entered in the division and 14 have already made the grade.

Leading the pack is Sofiane Oumiha of France, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist and three-time world champion.

Another gold medal contender is Baatarsukhiin Chinzorig of Mongolia, the 2023 Hangzhou Asian Games gold medalist as well as Australian Harry Garside the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist and first from Down Under to get a medal in the Olympics in more than three decades.

The Bangkok qualifying will offers five berths while the last slot will be determined by universality.

To get ready for the Olympic qualifying, Laurente will join three other Filipino aspirants in a training camp that will also feature a pocket tournament in Colorado Springs this month.

After their United States preparation, they would all head to Thailand and wait for the start of the qualifying.

Joining Laurente are Tokyo Games silver medalist Carlo Paalam and veteran Rogen Ladon as well as female puncher Hergie Bacyadan.

Two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa, who promotes Laurente, gave the boxer the go-signal to join the national squad.

“I still promote him but he asked if he could try his luck in the Olympics and I didn’t hesitate to say yes. It’s for the country so he has my blessings and I hope he qualifies,” Peñalosa said.

Laurente and company left for the US on Tuesday accompanied by multi-titled mentor Ronald Chavez.

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