CEBU’S reputation as a breeding ground for future boxers has taken a beating in the Asian Juniors Boxing Championship box-off last Wednesday at the Cebu City Sports Center Boxing gym.
The one-day event saw Cebuano boxers beaten black and blue by counterparts from cities of Mindanao.
Charles Batiancila retired at his stool after getting beaten up by Mark Leter Durens of Cagayan de Oro City at the start of the second round in their 46-kilo match, while Regemelyr Namocatcat of CDO beat Mike Joshua Tallo of Cebu City in the 48-kilo match from start to finish.
Another CDO pug Jorge Nuez used his quickness to pummel the bigger, heavier and taller Denmar Cardeno of Big Yellow Boxing Club of Cebu City in the 54-kilo division match and Norlan Petecio of Davao del Sur scored a first-round win over Garbriel Soque Stone of Cebu City in the 60-kilo divison.
“The boxers from Cebu City have been left out already. Amateur boxing is probably not as active as it was 10 years ago. Cagayan de Oro, Davao and General Santos city have continuing boxing programs and their boxers are fighting regularly. That is why I commend the efforts of Chao Sy as he promised to hold a boxing tournament in every three months,” Amateur Boxing Association of the Philipines secretary general Ed Picson told SunStar Cebu.
Although, there are still Cebuano promising boxers– brothers Eduard Jr. and Jefre Jimenez, John Nino Vega and Brix Piala--Cebu clearly needs to be more active especially in training and competition.
“In my capacity as the regional director for Abap for Central Visayas and as a regional coordinator for the Philippines Sports Commission, I will be holding amateur boxing events every three months. It might be an inter cities/municipalities meet or a tournament for the entire Central Visayas. This way, we can give our boxers enough experience,” said Sy.
Even national juniors head coach and former Olympian Ronald Chavez was not impressed with the performance of the Cebuano boxers and cited the need for more training and tournament.
Chavez, who was born in Bantayan Island, and his younger brother Arlo, who grew up in Mandaue City, were the last Olympians from Cebu. They fought for the country in 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“Before, there were a lot of good boxers from Cebu because there were a lot of stables, and tournaments were held almost weekly. Our skills got honed because aside from training, there were a lot of competitions,” Chavez said in Cebuano. “I hope Cebu can produce another boxing Olympian and I believe boxers here need just to train hard. They have the talent and for some Cebuanos, boxing comes naturally to them. They just need tournaments and proper training.”