JST, GMA News says - Manny Pacquiao opens amateur boxing tilt in Davao del Sur

DIGOS CITY — Multi-titled boxing champion and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquaio formally opens the PLDT-ABAP National Boxing Championships at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Digos City Gym in Davao del Sur.


Pacquiao is co-hosting the tournament with ABAP and the provincial government of Davao del Sur.


Over one hundred hopeful boxers 18 years old and below, who qualified in the ABAP Regionals held in Infanta, Quezon (LUZON), Maasin City (VISAYAS) and Cagayan de Oro City (MINDANAO) have converged in this quaint city to try and make it to the national pool.


“We welcome this partnership with Cong. Pacquiao. He started his amateur career in Digos City and he has many fond memories of the city. This collaboration feels so right. ABAP recognizes the Congressman’s influence on our boxers and we appreciate his gesture of hosting this year’s Championships,” said ABAP president Ricky Vargas.


Davao del Sur’s governor Claude Bautista, a good friend of the boxer-legislator, will be on hand to welcome the participants and numerous guests to the tournament.


“It is auspicious that Cong. Pacquiao timed the staging of the tournament with our celebration of ‘Araw ng Davao del Sur,’ the 47th Founding Anniversary of the province,” said Bautista.


ABAP secretary-general Patrick Gregorio and ABAP treasurer JJ Vargas are also scheduled to arrive for the tournament.


ABAP executive director Ed Picson headed the advance team with AIBA international technical official (ITO) Karina Picson, international referee-judges Roger Fortaleza and Mark Abalaos and AIBA three-star coaches Pat Gaspi and Ronald Chavez.


A three-day seminar for referees, judges and coaches reeled off Monday with 39 participants from all over the country.


ABAP offered the seminar at no charge to all participants. - JST, GMA News

by Alyssa Burns