After the previous Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) management stripped her and other athletes of their monthly allowance and stipend money in 2006, lady boxer Gretchen Abaniel walked away from what could be string of honors for the country.
"I felt bad and sad because my family was also dependent to a big scale on what could skim off from my allowance to meet their needs. I was thinking of us, not only me and the future. No one wanted to pay attention so I got off to search for a greener pasture," said the now 30-year-old Abaniel.
It was a painful decision but in the end she proved everyone wrong when she climbed up the ring a number of times and emerged victorious every fight.
"If the ladies can excel in chess, martial arts, athletics, golf, bowling, music and beauty culture, any Filipina can say, "I can do it!" on anything she puts her heart into," Abaniel said.
Three weeks ago, Abaniel grabbed the WIBA minimum weight, the latest addition to her collection of treasures by scoring a 10-round unanimous decision over Saowali Nareepangsri of Thailand in New South Wales, Australia.
That makes her the Philippines' first female triple world champion on top of being the current Women's International Boxing Federation (WIBF) golden girl and the Global Boxing Union minimum title holder.
Abaniel is not muscular but considered a knockout artist whose record stands at 17-8 with 6 KOs while former world champ Narrepangsri fell to a 6-1 (win-loss) card.
Abaniel from Puerto Princesa City, Palawan is looking for a November ring return likely in Viet Nam when she defends one of her three titles.*PNA
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