Cuba trip for pugs in peril

Published April 10, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

by Nick Giongco

It looks like the coveted training for the men’s boxing team in Cuba has hit a wall.

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) yesterday revealed that the Cuban Boxing Federation (CBF) has yet to act on their request for training there and participation in a world-caliber tournament.

ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson said hopes for the Cuban exposure has diminished and this has prompted them to look elsewhere.

To fill the void, the ABAP has expressed its interest in tournaments lined up in Spain, Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan and Thailand until the squad tapers off for the Aug. 18-Sept. 2 Asian Games in Indonesia.

Also included in the overseas exposure of the boxers are training camps eyed to take place in Sheffield in England and Spain.

Picson had wanted to send the Asian Games-bound boxers for a three-week training in Havana where they can also compete in the Giraldo Cardin Cordova tournament in early-June.

“There is no reply yet from Cuba,” said Picson.

Interest in Cuba heightened after its bets took the overall crown with five gold medals in the 2017 world championships in Hamburg, Germany.

The Philippines used to see action in Cuba and train there as well and ring masters from that tiny Caribbean nation used to coach the national team.

In the last Asian Games in Incheon, boxing didn’t win a gold medal and instead brought home a silver from lightweight Charly Suarez and three bronzes.

But with ABAP chief Ricky Vargas now serving as the Philippine Olympic Committee, boxing is on the move to redeem itself and bring back the glory days.