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PH coach confident on boxers’ medal chances

By Nick Giongco

National team coach Ronald Chavez points to light-flyweight Carlo Paalam, bantam Mario Fernandez and middleweight Eumir Felix Marcial as the brightest prospects on the men’s squad that will go for gold in the Indonesia Asian Games that opens shop on Aug. 28.

“Sila Carlo, Mario and Eumir and pandiin namin para sa gold (Carlo, Mario and Eumir are our top bets for the gold),” Chavez said Wednesday night from Baguio City, where the boxers are camping out.

Paalam, a 20-year-old phenom, is coming off the biggest win of his career after beating 2014 Asian Games champion Shin Jong Hun in Russia a couple of months ago.

Chavez, a veteran of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, isn’t discounting the other team members, stressing that the 2018 batch is solid as a rock.

“Ready yan sila (They are all ready),” said Chavez, who will share coaching duties with fellow national team mentor Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco.

Apart from Chavez’s triple threat, the other members who are capable of making heads turn include 2016 Rio Olympian Rogen Ladon (flyweight), James Palicte (lightweight) and welter Joel Bacho (welter).

There are so two female punchers entered in the boxing competitions set to begin Aug. 24: Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio.