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TOKYO – Irish Magno will be the lone underdog among Filipino boxers in the first round of their respective schedules in the Tokyo Olympics at Kokugikan Stadium.
Magno will take on Kenya’s Christine Ongare in the qualifying round of the women’s flyweight (48-51 kilograms) class on Sunday, the day after Nesthy Petecio starts the Philippine boxers’ campaign against Marcelat Sakobi Matshu in the featherweight (54-57 kg) class. ).
Ongare is ranked 17th in the world while Magno is ranked 25th.
“I feel like she can handle this girl,” boxing club (Abap) director Ed Picson said just after the draw on Thursday.
Petecio will be highly favored in her first round match, but a win there sees her face a quarterfinal clash with Taiwanese No. 1 Lin Yu-ting.
“The draw could have been better, but we have prepared for the worst so we are still optimistic,” said Picson, adding that although Petecio is currently number 7, she is still the reigning world champion of her division .
Petecio’s match against her Congolese enemy actually becomes the first boxing match of the Olympics.
On Monday, Carlo Paalam will take on 25-year-old Irishman Brendan Irvine in the preliminary rounds of the men’s flyweight (48-52 kg) division. Paalam ranks 25th in the world while Irvine, born in Belfast, ranks 32nd.
Eumir Marcial, named by the Associated Press as a contender for the gold, was given a farewell and awaits the winner of the fight between Algeria Younes Nemouchi and Ugandan Kavuma David Ssemujju.
Marcial said goodbye because he is the number 3 in the world and only needs two wins here to win a medal. Four wins will earn him the coveted gold.
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