ABAP gears up for Asian U22 Boxing Championships in January

ABAP President Ed Picson

There will be no holiday breaks for select national boxers as they gear up for the Asian Under-22 Boxing Championships on Jan. 20 to 30 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

This will be the first foreign tournament in Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines’ (ABAP) 2022 calendar as it hopes to ride on the momentum of its successful campaign in the Tokyo Olympics last August.

Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam claimed silver and Eumir Marcial won the bronze medal in the delayed Olympiad to make it the best performing boxing team in history.

Newly elected ABAP President Ed Picson said they have already identified six men and two women for the said tournament, but it might change barring unforeseen circumstances.

“Before the tournament invitation. We already announced that our athletes’ holiday break will be from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8, 2022. Sadly, we have to inform some of our boxers na wala silang Christmas break to prepare for this competition,” Picson said in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Apart from the Uzbekistan tilt, Picson is looking at a busy year for the boxers with the 31st Southeast Asian Games happening on May 12 to 23 in Vietnam, and the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on Sept. 10 to 25.

ABAP plans to send its athletes to another training camp, possibly in Baguio City and a still undisclosed venue, but details have yet to be finalized.

“We saw the importance of these training camps in our preparation for the Olympics and look at the results,” said Picson, referring to the rigorous training schedule of its national pool where it training at a bubble camp in Calamba, Laguna last January, followed by another training camp in Thailand heading to the Olympics.

Picson added they are also communicating with other foreign officials for possible training camps abroad.

So far, the PH team has been training in Baguio City as part of its long-term preparations for 2022 tournaments.

Boxing has been the country’s source of gold mine in international tournaments. At the 2019 SEAG held in Manila, the PH team collected seven gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

The PH fighters also went home with one silver courtesy of Rogen Ladon, and two bronze medals from Paalam and Marcial at the 2018 Asian Games held in Indonesia.