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Aira Villegas lone Filipina left fighting in Asian Women’s Boxing Championships


Day Two of the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships saw the Philippine contingent cut down to one boxer in Aira Villegas, as the country’s top boxer Nesthy Petecio figured in a split decision loss to Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist Junhua Yin of China.

The Women’s National Boxing Team are in Vietnam for the Asian Boxing Confederation’s Asian Women’s Boxing Championships. The tournament, featuring a record number of 107 boxers from over 20 countries, is scheduled to run from November 2 to 12 in Ho Chi Minh City.

Representing the country are boxers Judelyn Casin in the light flyweight division (48 kg), Aira Villegas in the flyweight division (51 kg), and Nesthy Petecio in the featherweight division (60 kg).

In Day 1 of the tournament, Casin competed against Japan’s Tsubasa Komura in a unanimous decision loss. According to the ASBC, Komura controlled the action in the middle of the ring to book her place in the quarterfinals of the light flyweight division.

In Day 2 of the competition, meanwhile, the Philippines’ top boxer Nesthy Petecio figured in a split decision loss to China’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medalist Junhua Yin. Petecio, a silver medalist in the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2014, was the aggressor for most of the bout, however, it was the taller Junhua Yin who was gifted the decision by the judges.

The Petecio loss leaves Villegas as the lone Philippine boxer in the tournament. Villegas is through to the quarterfinals of the tournament with her unanimous decision win against Sri Lanka’s Dulana Jayasinghe Jaya in the flyweight division.

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Asked on his wards’ performance in the tournament, national team head coach Roel Velasco had this to say, “So far satisfied naman ako sa performance ng mga boxers natin dahil ang nakalaban ni Nesthy Silver medalist sa Rio Olympic games, at sa tingin po namin siya dapat ang panalo. Pero yun ang decision ng mga judges, kaya tanggapin nalang namin at pag-aaralan pa namin kung ano pa ang gagawin namin para malampasan ang pagkatalo namin.”

“Si Aira naman, maganda naman po ang nilalaro nya at walang duda na ibinigay ng mga hurado ang pabor sa kanya,” the mentor added.

According to Velasco, Villegas is scheduled to fight tomorrow, November 5, against Vietnamese boxer Nguyen Thi Tam.

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