Pangga, De la Pena in Asian Junior Semis
Flyweight John Vincent Pangga and pinweight Kenneth de la Pena scored resounding victories in the quarterfinals Friday to barge into the semifinal round of the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Pangga defeated Saif Alkharoosi of the United Arab Emirates in the first round via a Referee Stopped Contest (RSC) while De la Pena dominated India’s Soy Selay to enter the last four of the 15-16 year old Asian competition hosted by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.
Lightweight Norlan Petecio, however, failed to advance after losing to Sherzod Kodirboev of Uzbekistan in the final bout of day three. Petecio is the second local boxer to bow out after light flyweight Criz Russu was also eliminated in the quarterfinals via unanimous decision.
Pangga and De la Pena look to continue their impressive stints in the event supported by Palawan Gov. Jose Ch. Alvarez, City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, the Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, Maynilad, PLDT, Wesing, Meralco, Meralco One Foundation, Philippine Airlines, San Miguel Corporation and Hotel Centro Puerto Princesa in Sunday’s semis.
Pangga meets Syrymbetov Talgat of Kazakhstan while De la Pena takes on Yu Chen Cheng of Chinese Taipei for berths in Monday’s finals.
Both fighters are looking to match the feat of Criz Sander Laurente, who two years ago earned a spot in the finals of the tournament held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan but failed to compete due to a bum stomach. The older brother of Russu was later given a special award for his feat.
Pangga of Cagayan de Oro City made short work of Alkharoosi with an overhand left followed by a shot to the body, prompting Thai referee Karine Kriangsak to end the first fight of the evening session.
Hours earlier, De la Pena outclassed Selay right from the opening bell to earn the nod of all five judges for an impressive start to his gold medal bid after drawing a bye.
Petecio, on the other hand, fell short in his quest to join his fellow Filipino boxers in the semis after Kodirboev dominated all three rounds.
Catch day 3 of the event on ABAP’s YouTube Channel, or by playing the video bellow: