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Boxing coaches for Paris named

MANILA, Philippines — Australian coach Don Abnett will lead the cast of mentors and tacticians working with the Philippines’ five-strong boxing team at the Paris Olympics. Abnett, 63, has been involved in boxing for over 40 years and joined ABAP in 2019. He’ll be the overall coach in Paris with Ronald Chavez and Gerson Nietes looking after lightheavyweight Eumir Marcial and middleweight Hergie Bacyadan, Reynaldo Galido and Mitchell Martinez taking care of lightflyweight Aira Villegas and featherweight Nesthy Petecio and Elmer Pamisa is focused on featherweight Carlo Paalam.

ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo said Villegas, Petecio, Bacyadan and Paalam are now on break after the tough grind at the second World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Bangkok and will resume training next week. Marcial joined the team in Bangkok for two weeks then returned to Las Vegas where he trains with American coach Kay Koroma and ABAP-designate Mario Fernandez. Chavez will relieve Fernandez in Las Vegas as soon as he is issued his Schengen visa for Paris.

The boxing team will leave Manila for Metz, France on June 22 then travel to Saarbrucken, Germany, for an international camp on July 1-23. Marcial will hook up with the team in Saarbrucken where Olympic boxers from the US, Australia, India, Cuba, Mongolia, Norway and others are expected. A plan to train in Uzbekistan for 10 days before departing for Metz was scuttled due to time constraints. The team intends to motor from Metz to Saarbrucken in a bus for the one-hour trip then take a train or bus to Paris. Petecio is the only boxer joining the Olympic opening flotilla parade along the River Seine on July 26 as her first bout will still be on July 30.