Bacho Settles for Silver
THANYABURI, Thailand- Philippine boxer Joel Bacho, in his first major tournament after splashing around in the fringes the past few years as an alternate to welterweight sensation Eumir Felix Marcial, finally landed in the spotlight as he emerged as the lone medalist in the Thailand International Tournament known in boxing circles as the King’s Cup.
Bacho was awarded the bronze medal Saturday after winning 2 sensational bouts, the most notable one an upset over veteran Cuban pug Arisnoidys Despaigne whom he beat to the punch time and again in their match on opening day.
HIs second victim was Chinese-Taipei’s Huang Zhao Cheng whom he also outpointed in three rounds.
The 24 year old University of Baguio student then ran into 2016 World Youth champion Akhmedov Sadriddin with whom he traded power punches but he eventually lost out in the deal.
ABAP secretary-general Ed Picson said he “wasn’t totally disappointed. We encountered some really high caliber opposition here. We lost to 2 Uzbeks, a Cuban a Kazakh, and 2 from host nation Thailand. Nothing to be ashamed of there, but we need to learn how to beat them next time.”
There were 107 boxers from 18 countries in the tournament.
For his part, ABAP president Ricky Vargas said “this is just our boys’ first exposure for the year. We need to keep them active in preparation for the World Championships and the SEA Games which will happen at the same time. We need 2 strong teams for those tournaments.”
The boxing association has lined up several training camps in China, Hungary and Cuba to go with several tune-up tournaments to ensure all the candidates for the August tournaments in shape and steeped in competitive bouts.