PH boxers await US visas for Colorado Springs training

Published May 31, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Waylon Galvez

ABAP president Ricky Vargas

Officials of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) are still waiting for the US visas of three Tokyo Olympics-bound boxers training in Thailand while it has given a go for another Olympian in Eumir Marcial to travel from Dubai to Colorado Springs in the US.

ABAP Secretary-General Ed Picson said Monday, May 31, that it is a ‘wait and see’ status if the Filipino boxers in Thailand would be given visas to travel to Colorado for a training camp.

“We are still trying to see if they can get visas in Thailand,” PIcson told Manila Bulletin, referring to boxers Nesthy Petecio, Irish Magno and Carlo Paalam.

The management of ABAP is hoping to bring them to the US after their request for Marcial to train in Colorado was granted last week.

The said training facility in Colorado is the home of the US Boxing Team, which is also preparing for the Tokyo Olympics set July 23 to August 8.

“We have arranged for Marcial to participate in a multi-nation training camp in Colorado Springs, the home of Olympic boxing in the USA,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas in a statement over the weekend.

“This is the milieu that he needs to be training under.”

“USA Boxing is also graciously assisting us in getting visas for our three other Olympians and our coaches to the Colorado Springs camp,” added Vargas as ABAP reached out to their national sports association counterpart with regards to the setup for training camp.

The 25-year-old Marcial is coming off a shocking semifinal defeat to Jafarov Saidjamshid of Uzbekistan in the middleweight class (75kg) semifinal in the ASBC Elite Men and Women Boxing Championships last Friday in Dubai.

Vargas fully understands that the next seven weeks would be crucial for Marcial, and he asked for everyone to be on the same page as preparation is now on its final stage for the Tokyo Olympics.

“We are of course saddened by the loss of Eumir Marcial, but that’s boxing. Adjustments will have to be made and there is some time left. That said, I think this should be a wake up call for all concerned, not just to Marcial,” said Vargas.

“We all need to be united behind our four boxers in their quest for Olympic glory. Aside from Marcial, we believe Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam have equal chances to perform well in Tokyo.”

“Our coaching staff, under (Australian) coach Donald Abnett, has drawn up a comprehensive 10-week program for the final push to the Olympics, attuned to the environment and platform in which the event will be staged,” he added.