Despite the defeats of Joel Bacho, Mario Fernandez, James Palicte, Nesthy Petecio, and Irish Magno, ABAP secretary general Ed Picson exudes with confidence that the three boxers standing — Eumir Felix Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Rogen Ladon — will survive tremendous odds and collar the elusive gold that slipped off the hands of Charley Suarez in the last Asian Games in Inchon, South Korea, four years ago and preserve the winning tradition of boxing.
“We have three remaining boxers chasing the elusive medal down there,” said Picson.
“Hopefully, they would survive the great odds like they did in the past.”
Picson candidly admitted the daunting task is difficult like scaling the mountain because of the toughness of the competition where the best of the best boxers in the region are competing.
“They have to dismantle all obstacles in the last two stages to reach the podium.
“It’s a difficult task. I have trust and confidence they can do it because they possess innate boxing skills and experience. They are grizzled veterans and battle-tested,” noted Picson.
Marcial, Paalam, and Ladon competed in tournaments in Russia, Poland, Thailand, India, and Kazakhstan as part of their preparation for the Asian Games where they are ranged against tough boxers in the region all chasing for the precious gold.
Picson said he accepted the defeats of Bacho, Fernandez, Palicte and Magno, but not Petecio, who lost via a controversial decision against top-ranked Chinese featherweight Yin Jun Hua.
“I was shocked and flabbergasted when I heard the decision giving the victory to the Chinese. Petecio cried because she could not accept the verdict believing she won the match,” lamented Picson.
“Wala tayong magagawa. That is the judgment of the judges. We have to accept even though it is against our conscience.”
Marcial outpointed his South Korean foe Kim Jin Jea, 5-0, in the middleweight division and Paalam outboxed Temirtas Zhussupov of Kazakhtan, 4-1, in light flyweight to join Ladon.
“There’s no turning back.
“They have to double their efforts and utilize all the resources from their arsenal and the experience they got competing abroad,” stressed Picson.
The first time Indonesia hosted the quadrennial meet in 1962 boxing won one gold courtesy of Manfredo Alipala and three bronzes compliments of Catalino Arpon, Eginio Grafia, and Jose Ramirez.