ABAP tells POC not to worry
The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) yesterday assured the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) that it would take “full responsibility” over the boxing team’s stint in the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore this June.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas said in a statement that the decision not to field light-flyweight Mark Anthony Barriga and lightweight Charly Suarez doesn’t bother them as the association believes that those who will take their places are equally capable.
“We believe in the skill, ability and determination of those who will step up to the plate,” said Vargas as he defended the ABAP’s decision to allow Barriga and Suarez to strut their stuff in the AIBA Pro Boxing tournament that will have its grand launch in March.
The AIBA Pro Boxing, which won’t be fought in the traditional amateur style, has recruited Barriga and Suarez to take part alongside the seven other top fighters in their divisions.
The tournament dangles hefty cash prizes and the POC feels that participation there is a conflict with the athletes’ obligations to the government.
Barriga and Suarez get P40,000 a month from the Philippine Sports Commission as they are classified as elite athletes.
Vargas said that even though Barriga and Suarez won’t take part in the SEAG, they are still eligible to fight in the Asian Games, world championships and the Olympics, which Vargas said is their long-term and ultimate goal.
“APB is good for our boxers and for Philippine boxing. Rest assured we would never do anything detrimental to the national sports program,” said Vargas.
Still, the POC thinks the non-inclusion of the two punchers, considered as gold medal hopefuls and not merely medal bets, would affect the overall campaign of the country.
“What if the difference in our final placing would be just a matter of one or two gold medals?”
Short URL: http://filamnation.com/?p=32685