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2 PH boxers fight in Asian jr. semis

by Waylon Galvez

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan – Flyweight John Vincent Pangga and pinweight Kenneth Dela Peña will keep the country’s hopes burning Sunday in the semifinals of the 2017 ASBC Asian Juniors Boxing Championships.

Pangga and Dela Peña are the only host punchers with gold medal hopes following the departure of light-fly Cris Russu Laurente and lightweight Norlan Petecio in the slugfest the draw the participation of all of the region’s heavyweights, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Thailand.

To secure a slot in the gold medal match, Pangga has to get rid of Syrymbetov Talgat of Kazakhstan while Dela Peña has to spoil Yu Chen Cheng of Taiwan.

Pangga assured himself of at least a bronze medal after scoring a first-round RSC of Saif Alkharoosis of the United Arab Emirates.

In his opening bout, Pangga stunned Uzbekistan’s Amirbek Ibdoullev, 5-0.

Dela Peña, who drew a bye in the first round, downed Soy Selay of Indonesia, 5-0.

Other boxing nations that sent bets here include Japan, Korea, China, Kyrgyzstan, Indonesia and fast-rising India.

The event is for boxers who are 15-16 years old and the provincial and city government of the province rolled the red carpet in supporting the organizing Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines.

The Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, Maynilad, Meralco, Wesing, San Miguel Corporation and governor Jose Ch. Alvarez and mayor Lucilo Bayron have likewise backed the ABAP.