The young fighters of host Bago City did not disappoint their hometown crowd as they scored three victories at the opening of the PSC-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup on Saturday at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Sports Center.
Flashy RodelGamo landed more telling blows to win by a convincing unanimous decision against Omega-Mandaue's Alex Andrei Bonita in the Jr. Boys pinweight (44-46 kg.) category.
Fifteen-year-old Joshua Belicena, a 2016 Palarong Pambansa silver medalist, also connected more combinations en route to a unanimous decision over Morcia's Julius Salbibia in the Jr. Boys flyweight (50 kg.) division.
The other win, however, was courtesy of Junior Boys pinweight Kim Catedrilla of Bago's Sampit Boxing Club, who stopped Sipalay City's Rey Penafiel by a referee-stopped-contest in 1:59 of Round 1.
Bago City coach Larry Semillano was hopeful of a continuing winning streak for the young boxers.
Sipalaysalvaged the last two bouts courtesy of Nixon Anito and Jay Torela Jr., who both escaped via split decisions (3-2).
Anito beat Cres John Demafiles of La Carlota City in the Jr. Boys flyweight (50 kg.) while Torela clobbered Escalante's Rojean Sabordo in the bantamweight (52 kg.) category.
Negros Occidental's Kane Paul Redondo made the day's first victory by stopping Maasin City's Simon Kay Canon by RSC in 1:17 in the opening round in the Jr. Boys pinweight.
For Junior Boy Pinweight, Angelo Bulasa Jr. (Cebu City) won by UD against Jovelen Abrenica (Cebu City Sports Institute), while Kent Perocho (Escalante) won by split decision (3-2) over Cresante Caballero (Victorias City).
For the Junior Boys Light Flyweight division, on the other hand, Joenel Francisco (Murcia) stopped Perlito Escalamada Jr. (San Carlos City) by RSC in 1:13 of Round 2, while Gaudfrey Lubiano (Mandaue-Omega) won against Jhayve Donaire (Maasin) by split decision (3-2).
Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo welcomed all the teams and guests and thanked the Philippine Sports Commission for bringing the grassroots development program to their city tagged as the “boxing capital of the Philippines” for producing Olympian boxers in the country.
One of them is Sydney Olympics silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, who was also present in Saturday's opening program.
Velasco's elder brother Roel won a bronze at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, while Olympian and 1997 SEA Games gold medalist Larry Semillano is currently the head coach of Bago.
“We can discover more 8-time division world champion Manny Pacquiao and the Velasco brothers in this project,” said supervising technical director Rogelio Fortaleza of the Philippine Sports Institute.
More than 100 boxers from 17 teams saw action in the two-day Visayas Preliminaries of the PSC-Pacquiao Amateur Boxing Cup.
The teams were Bago, Bayawan City, Calbayog City, Cadiz City, Cebu City, Don Salvador Benedicto, Escalante City, Himamaylan City, La Carlota City, Leyte Province, Maasin City, Murcia, San Carlos City, Sipalay City, Talisay City, Victorias City and Mandaue-Omega.*PNA
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