Boxing team finalizes Olympic blueprint in German camp

EUMIR Marcial hits the mitts with coach Ronald Chavez in their German training camp in Saarbrücken, Germany.
EUMIR Marcial hits the mitts with coach Ronald Chavez in their German training camp in Saarbrücken, Germany.Photograph COURTESY OF Princess Marcial

LISBON, Portugal — Members of the Philippine boxing team immediately settled in their new environ in Germany where they will be finalizing the blueprint for the gold medal drive in the fast-approaching Paris Olympics.

Ronald Chavez, one of the leading coaches of the five-man squad said on Saturday that the training conditions in Saarbrücken, just an hour from their first base in Metz, France, is ideal.

“The facilities are terrific and complete,” Chavez said three days after their arrival there following a ten-day stay in Metz.

Even Marcus Manalo, secretary general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, is delighted over the decision to spend the final few weeks in Germany.

“Going well,” Manalo said, adding that the Philippines was among the early birds.

“So far, we are with India and Ireland but more teams are coming on the tenth (of July).”

Pro fighter Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio are the country’s main medal bets in the Summer Games that will kick off on 26 July.

Also making it to Paris are Aira Villegas and Hergie Bacyadan, who both made the grade during the Olympic qualifiers during the year.

Marcial earned his spot after placing second in the Hangzhou Asian Games last year while Paalam and Petecio booked theirs also during the qualifying meets.

Marcial, who is unbeaten in five fights in the pros, was the bronze medalist in the middleweight class in Tokyo.

Paalam and Petecio wind up with silvers in Tokyo.

There are 248 boxers entered in the tournament with Australia filling in 12 of the 13 divisions on tap while Uzbekistan is fielding the second-most number with 11 entries. Kazakhstan, another Olympic powerhouse, Ireland and Turkey have ten apiece.

Host France parades eight and the United States, China and Thailand also have the same number of qualifiers.

The preliminaries will be held at the 6,000-capacity Arena Paris Nord while the medal- round bouts will have Stade Roland Garros as venue.

Daily Tribune