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PSC-ABAP box-off; Aspiring boxers showcase talents

CEBU, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao wannabes from different corners of the archipelago showcased their punching skills with finesse in the Philippine Sports Commission-Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (PSC-ABAP) Amateur Boxing Tournament at the Cebu City Sports Center yesterday.

They have a common goal - to make it to the Philippine Youth team for major international competitions here and abroad.

No less than ABAP Executive Director Ed Picson, his wife Karina Picson, who is an AIBA Tournament supervisor and national juniors coach Ronald Chavez flew all the way from Manila to grace the box-off spearheaded by ABAP Central Visayas director Lorenzo 'Chao' Sy.

More than the cash prize and medals at stake, the top performers will have a chance to form part of Team Phl for this year's Asian Youth Championship slated on August 1-8 in Davao City as well as in the 2018 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship.

"We're very happy to be part of this event. Chao (Sy) and I have already agreed to make amateur boxing in Cebu active again because there are a lot of potential boxers here and in other provinces of the region that we can possibly recruit for the Philippine team," said Ed Picson.

Chavez said that is the main reason why they are here.

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"We want to scout talents and hopefully tap them for our national training pool. I know for the fact that there are a lot of potentials out there in the countryside only waiting to be discovered," said Chavez.

Young aspiring fighters from as far as General Santos City, Cagayan de Oro and Davao del Sur gathered in the Queen City of the South hoping to make an impression that could be their golden tickets to the elite Phl squad.

Pugs from Sipalay, Murcia and Bago City in Negros Island were also in town to challenge Cebu's hometown bets.

Mark Lester Durens from Cagayan de Oro and female boxers Precious Bago from Talisay City were among those who stamped their classes in the one-day slugfest.

Durens threw punches at will from the onset to force Charles Batiancila of  Medellin town north of Cebu to wave the white flag of surrender before the start of the second round in their 46 kgs. match, while Bago wobbled Faith Colin Llamas of Cebu three times, prompting referee Riza Gingoyon to halt the bout late in the opening session in their 40 kgs. duel.

In the other 46 kgs. match, Briz Piala of Cebu Province hammered his way to a unanimous decision victory over James Carl Briones of Big Yellow Boxing Club based in Talisay City.

"This kind of exposure is what our aspiring boxers need to boost their confidence and inspire them more to excel. Rest assured we will have more of this kind of tournament in the future," said Chao Sy, who is also the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Visayas director under the Philippine Sports Institute (PSI). (FREEMAN)

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