Petecio emotional in silver medal-clinching boxing campaign in Tokyo


TOKYO—Nesthy Petecio lost in the gold medal bout in women’s featherweight of boxing on Tuesday, putting up a gallant stand against Japan’s Sena Irie but falling short of giving the Philippines its second gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics.

Petecio tried to match Irie punch-for-punch but the Japanese was the quicker fighter, escaping with a unanimous decision win in the division that was added to the Olympic program for the first time.

Petecio’s silver was the same color of medal which Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco clinched in the Atlanta 1996 Olympics and it was the second in these Olympics after Hidilyn Diaz’s gold in women’s -55 kgs of weightlifting last July 24.

“This means a lot to me,” Petecio told a well-attended press conference, the first for the Tokyo Olympics boxing competitions. “I dedicate this fight to my country, my family and my best friend, who died last February.”

But most especially, I dedicate this silver medal to my coach, Coach Boy [Nolito Velasco] for his tireless effort to bring me to where in am now,” she said.

Philippines’s Nesthy Petecio, right, exchanges punches with Japan’s Sena Irie during their women’s featherweight 60-kg final boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Petecio was in tears while praising her tormentor and couldn’t hold her tears back during the medal ceremony.

Two more boxers—Eumir Marcial (middleweight) and Carlo Paalam (flyweight)—are assured of at least a bronze medal each.

Paalam slayed a giant in the boxing world’s flyweight division, winning on points by split decision over Olympic and world Shakhobidin Zoirov for a guaranteed bronze medal.

Paalam’s victory came swift—one minute and 16 seconds into the second round—after Ukranian referee Pavlo Vasylynchuk stopped the fight after both boxers sustained forehead injuries following an accidental headbutt.

Image courtesy of FRANK FRANKLIN II

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