Decorated veteran Gretchen Abaniel and promising newcomer Gretel de Paz both fought over the weekend at events hosted by the International Boxing Federation at the Macau East Asian Games Dome in Macau, China.
On Saturday night, October 28, Abaniel fell short of the IBF World female minimumweight title against Zong Ju Cai. The day before, October 27, De Paz lost in day 1 of the IBF Silk Road Championship Tournament against Thai boxer Jutapas Jitpong.
Arguably the country’s most accomplished female boxer in the professional ranks, Abaniel suffered a unanimous decision loss to Cai over 10 rounds of 2 minutes. Abaniel’s record falls to 18 wins and 9 losses, including 6 knockouts.
Abaniel had entered the contest with a 3-fight winning streak, but suffered a repeat of 2015, where she lost in similar fashion to Cai.
A day before the contest, Filipina boxer Gretel de Paz also fell short of her goal against Thai boxer Jutapas Jitpong in the 2017 IBF Silk Road Championship Tournament. The fight was contested at bantamweight, though scores of the fight have not yet been made available, according to BoxRec.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the weekend’s events were part of the IBF Silk Road Championship Tournament Inaugural Fight, and the 1st IBF Belt and Road Annual Convention, which aims to improve the integrated development of intercultural communication and share the opportunity of the booming economy and society along the region.
Moving forward, China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative could mean more opportunities in the future for quality boxing events for budding professional boxers and promoters in the region.
The IBF is the first world sanctioning body to apply the Belt and Road development plan to its activities.