Aira enters Round of 16

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Lightflyweight (-50 kg) contender Aira Villegas barged into the Round of 16 at the IBA World Women’s Championships in Istanbul and will face Tokyo Olympic quarterfinalist Nina Radovanovic of Serbia tomorrow for a slot in the last eight. Five wins will clinch the gold in the division where 30 fighters are listed.

Villegas posted a unanimous 5-0 win over Germany’s Maxi Klotezer in the preliminaries last Thursday to mark her debut. Judges Kevin Hope of the US and Muhammad Arisa Putra Pohan of Indonesia scored it 30-25 while judges Berna Yurtsever of Turkey and Lazizi Athmen of Algeria saw it 30-27. Judge Steven Masiyambumbi of Zimbabwe had it 29-27. Radovanovic, a former IBO flyweight champion with a 14-4 pro record, outpointed Korea’s Kang Doyeon, 5-0, to advance.

ABAP president Ed Picson and secretary-general Marcus Manalo arrived in Istanbul last night to participate in the IBA Extraordinary Congress where elections are scheduled to be held. IBA president Umar Kremlev of Russia is seeking reelection under IOC fire for questionable management. The Netherlands’ Boris van der Vorst was set to challenge Kremlev but was disqualified by an “interim nomination unit” on dubious charges despite prior clearance from the IBA Disciplinary Committee. Boxing has been struck out of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics and may be reinstated by IOC if IBA institutes governance reforms.


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