Filipino boxers Ladon, Marcial, Suarez seeded at Olympic Qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines - Filipino boxers Rogen Ladon, Eumir Felix Marcial, and Charly Suarez have been seeded by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) at the start of the Asian-Oceanian Qualification Tournament, the Olympic Qualifiers currently ongoing at Qian'An, China.
Light Flyweight Rogen Ladon and Welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial were seeded number one in their respective categories while Philippine Team Captain Charly Suarez is the second seed in the lightweight category behind Dorjnyambuu of Mongolia.
Edgar Picson, Executive Director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines noted the advantages of being seeded in this crucial tournament that will determine who will be fighting in the Rio Summer Olympics in August of this year.
"Firstly, a seeded boxer draws a bye in the first round. So all our seeded boxers go straight to the second round of eliminations,” explained Picson in a message from China. "That's one less fight in the tournament. The maximum number of fights a boxer will participate in is five. Seeded boxers will only have four including finals."
"Secondly, seeded boxers do not meet each other early because they are bracketed separately. So theoretically, the better boxers don't face each other until late in the tournament. Of course thirdly, it's a boost to their confidence that they are highly regarded."
Ladon got top spot owing to his bronze medal finish in the World Championships in Doha last October and a silver medal at the Asian Championships a month before. Marcial was also a Silver medalist at the Asian Championships in Bangkok.
The initial schedules of the Filipino boxers were also released.
Roldan Boncales (52kg) vs. Vietnam’s Tran Van Thao.
Charly Suarez (60kg) will square off against the winner of Turkmenistan vs. Chinese-Taipei bout.
Lone female entry Nesthy Petecio, who went down in weight from her usual 54 kilograms to fight in the Olympic weight category of 51 kilos (Flyweight), meets Micronesia's Jennifer Chieng who is half-Filipina.
Rogen Ladon (49kg) will battle the winner of the Chinese Taipei-Australia match
Mario Fernandez also drew a bye and will go against the winner of the Turkmenistan-Qatar bout.
Eumir Felix Marcial (69kg) fights on the same day against the winner of Chinese Taipei-Australia.
'Fairly good draw'
“I believe that we have a fairly good draw,” summed up Picson of the initial matches of the Philippines. If we treat this as more a challenge than anything else. All the teams prepared long and hard and many had their own foreign training just like we did (the team had an 18-day camp in the US before flying to China). So we are not letting our guard down. Our boxers are going to go hard for the win.”
279 boxers from 41 countries in the Asian and Oceanian regions are registered for the tournament which has 30 Olympic slots at stake. The top 3 male boxers in each weight category book a ticket to Rio de Janeiro while only the gold and silver medalists will make it from the female ranks.
Coaches for the Philippine team are Nolito and Roel Velasco and Romeo Brin. – Rappler.com