Camat to take crack at SEAG
- Abac Cordero () - March 6, 2001 - 12:00am
Chris Camat, the promising Fil-American boxer who just fell short of making it to last year’s Sydney Olympics, has expressed his desire to represent the Philippines in the 21st Southeast Asian Games scheduled this September in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The 21-year-old Camat, fighting in the light middleweight class, is now based in San Francisco, California where he works as a furniture salesman but is willing to represent the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur or even the 2002 Asian Games in Korea.

Camat, a lefty, made his debut for the national boxing team last year when he saw action in the annual King’s Cup in Thailand, a tournament that offered automatic slots to the Sydney Olympics for silver and gold medalists.

Camat drew a bye in the first round and survived a first-round knockdown plus a broken nose to beat a Chinese opponent and move

just one win away from an Olympic slot. But he lost a close fight to an Uzbekistan slugger and instead settled for the bronze.

"First hand I saw how tough a boxer Camat is. And I’m sure that he can very well represent the Philippines in the SEA Games or even the Asian Games. This is a welcome development," said Amateur Boxing of the Philippines president Manny Lopez.

But the problem is that Camat must first quit his job in the US and will be forced to bring along his wife and a one-year-old son when he starts training in the Philippines. Camat fears that he cannot afford to support his family while they’re here.

"Chris cannot leave his wife who doesn’t work at present because child care is so expensive in the US and they are better off with Angie taking care of the baby than having all her income go to child care," said Camat’s representative Atty. Jojo Liangco.

Therefore, the only solution is to find sponsors who can shoulder Camat’s stay in the Philippines for at least six months. Camat, according to Liangco, feels that he can convince his wife to make a sacrifice just for him to compete in the SEA Games.

As it is, the national boxing pool is in need of a legitimate boxer who can compete in the 71 kg division. There are 34 boxers in the pool and only 11 of them will make it to the SEA Games. The Philippines will not field an entry in the heavyweight class.

Lopez said all he can promise Camat at this point is the cash incentive from ABAP — P20,000 for a gold, P10,000 for a silver and P5,000 for a bronze. The bigger cash incentive that will come from the government is yet to be announced.

AMATEUR BOXING OF THE PHILIPPINES ASIAN GAMES CAMAT CHRIS CAMAT JOJO LIANGCO KUALA LUMPUR MANNY LOPEZ SYDNEY OLYMPICS
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