INCHEON, South Korea—Former world champion Josie Gabuco and Nesthy Petecio proved scored big wins on Saturday to keep the country’s campaign afloat for a boxing gold medal in the 17th Asian Games on Saturday. Gabuco showed former world youth titlist Lin Yu Ting of Chinese-Taipei to the door, 2-0, in the flyweight class with two judges scoring identical 39-37 and the third 38-38.
Petecio, 22, was aggressive throughout and also led Gulzhaina Ubbiniyazova of Kazakhstan to the exit, 3-0, in their lightweight clash.
The Philippines has advanced boxers in seven weight divisions, five in the men’s side. Flyweight Ian Clark Bautista was scheduled to fight Choe Sangdon of South Korea on Saturday night hoping for a quarterfinal berth. London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga will see action on Sunday against Tosho Kashiwasaki of Japan, also seeking a place in the quarterfinals of the light flyweight class.
Gabuco, a two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist as a pinweight in 2011 in Indonesia and a light flyweight last year in Myanmar, only had a night’s rest before she takes on Le Thi Bang of Vietnam on Sunday. The Vietnamese set the date with Gabuco on a 3-0 win over Svetlana Veglina of Tajikistan. A victory by Gabuco would send her to the semifinals—a guaranteed bronze medal—on Tuesday. Petecio was obviously the shorter boxer but that was hardly a disadvantage. The gutsy Filipina unleashed 1-2-3 and even 1-2-3-4 combinations to the 22-year-old Ubbiniyazova, who could hardly counter.
The Kazakh tried to slug it out but Petecio, a bronze medalist in the 2012 Asian championship in Mongolia and a two-time Southeast Asian Games silver medalist, used her hand speed and footwork to score the lopsided win.