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After bombing out in the ongoing 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) has announced its plan of giving way to a new leadership.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas said that while they gave their best in all of their seven years at the helm of a sport long touted as the country’s brightest hope for an Olympic gold, the time is also ripe to turn the baton over to deserving leaders.
“We need new leadership to refresh ABAP and inspire our next generation boxers in the pool. They show a lot of promise,” said Vargas in a statement. “We had our share of success in the SEA Games, Asian Games and World Championships, but of course the standard is the Olympics and we have been unsuccessful there.”
Hopes were high on boxing when it was able to send two of its finest boxers, lightweight Charly Suarez and lightflyweight Rogen Ladon, to the quadrennial meet.
Their campaigns however ended in disappointment when Suarez lost in his initial outing, a split decision verdict to Great Britain’s Joe Cordina.
Ladon, despite getting a bye, succumbed to Colombian Yuberjen Martinez via unanimous decision.
“We did our best and now it is time to turn the baton over after seven years of leadership,” said Vargas.
Under Vargas’ watch, the Philippines was able to field one boxer in the 2012 London Games where lightflyweight Mark Anthony Barriga failed to get past the second round.
Criticisms were few and far between back then as Vargas was only starting to get a feel of the ABAP leadership.
As soon as assuming the ABAP leadership, Vargas tapped Patrick Gregorio as secretary-general and broadcaster Ed Picson as executive director.
Vargas said both Picson and Gregorio will soon call for an election at the soonest possible time.
“We thank Chairman MVP and the entire Filipino nation for their support to boxing,” said Vargas.