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Marcial beefs up Bulgaria-bound team

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by Nick Giongco

Fresh from an emphatic win in the Czech Republic, stone-fisted middleweight Felix Eumir Marcial leads an eight-man team to the Strandja Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Marcial knocked out Milo Bartil of the host country almost two weeks ago in Prague during an event dubbed Europe vs Asia.

Joining Marcial in the Bulgarian tournament are veterans Mario Fernandez, Sugar Ray Ocana, Joel Bacho and Fil-British John Marvin and female fighters Josie Gabuco, Irish Magno and Aira Villegas.

They will get instructions from national coaches Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco, Ronald Chavez and Joegin Ladon as the Filipino boxers put in motion their buildup for the Southeast Asian Games late this year.

The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is likewise getting ready for a string of tournaments and training camps in the coming months as the Philippines aims to dominate competitions in the SEAG scheduled Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

The ABAP has relocated the national team to Cooyeesan Hotel in Baguio City from their longtime homebase of Teachers’s Camp to give way to repairs to the government-owned facility.

The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) is shouldering the expenses being incurred by the ABAP and all the other national sports associations affected by the massive rehabilitation and repairs in line with the SEAG hosting.

The Cooyeesan Hotel also houses a supermarket and a boxing gym that was used by Manny Pacquiao twice to rev up for a big fight.

The ABAP and Cooyeesan owner Anson Tiu Co, also an avid boxing supporter, have agreed on a friendly rate over the use of the hotel and its facilities in the duration of the boxing team’s stay. #SEAGames2019

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