FILIPINA light flyweight boxer Josie Gabuco won her fifth Southeast Asian Games gold when she beat Indonesian bet Endang by unanimous decision during the boxing finals match, Monday, December 9 at the PICC Forum.
Gabuco won gold at the 2009 Vientiane and the 2011 Jakarta Games as a pinweight. She then won gold at the 2013 Napyidaw and the 2015 Singapore Games as a light flyweight.
“This win is so special. First, because this is my first SEA Games here in the Philippines. I also wanted to be the first boxer to win five gold medals. I am very happy. I want to thank everyone who supported me, especially my coaches. The Abap family. My teammates. My sparring partners. If not for them I would not have been able to do this,” said Gabuco in Filipino as she fought back tears during a brief interview after her victory.
Gabuco had talked of hanging up her gloves in earlier interviews. But retirement seems to be far from her thoughts immediately after the victory.
“I am not thinking about retirement right now. I can feel how my coaches trust me. They told me that I still have what it takes to compete,” said Gabuco in Filipino.
Meanwhile, Rogen Ladon and Carlo Paalam also won golds in their respective weight divisions.
Ladon won his first-ever gold medal in the SEA Games by outpointing Yaodam Ammarit of Thailand to win the flyweight title by unanimous decision. The Asian Games silver medalist won a silver four years ago in Singapore.
Paalam beat Kornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia by unanimous decision to rule the light flyweight division. The Cagayan De Oro native fought in his first-ever SEA Games.
Paalam exacted sweet revenge in behalf of Ladon. Kornelis won the title in the 2015 Singapore SEA Games when he beat Ladon for the gold.
Irish Magno on the other hand settled for the silver after she lost to Nguyen Thi Tam of Vietnam via majority decision.
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