Boxing: On her way to gold, too many close calls put Nesthy Petecio constantly on edge

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2019 02:40 PM | Updated as of Oct 16 2019 02:42 PM

Petecio's camp says most of her matches en route to the gold medal game at the world championships were so even, waiting for the results was nerve-wracking. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

When Nesthy Petecio learned she was going to the gold medal round against a Russian, the Davaoena bruiser promised to herself she won’t leave the ring without the gold medal. 

Petecio settled for silver in the 2014 AIBA World Women’s Boxing Championships when she bowed to Russian Zinaida Dobrynina. 

Petecio didn’t want to repeat that when she fought Liudmila Vorontsove at the latter's turf in Ulan-Ude, Russia. ‘‘Yung final bout sabi ko sa akin na ito, ‘di ko ibibigay sa iba," she said. 

"Kasi nu'ng 2014 nag-silver lang ako at nakatalo sa'kin Russia,” she said at the press conference in Manila on Tuesday night, together with fellow world champion, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and Olympic pole-vaulter EJ Obiena. 

“So hindi ko na ipapaulit iyon sa ‘kin.” 

The road to the gold medal match was long and brutal, Petecio said, as she had to go through 5 different boxers before being able to set a titular clash against the Russian. 

She first edged Jucielen Romeu of Brazil, then beat Stanimira Petrova before squaring off against China's Qiao Jieru in the last 16. 

After beating Qiao, she overcame Sena Irie of Japan and met England's Karris Artingstall in the silver medal match. Her first 3 matches all ended via close decisions. 

“‘Yung mga kalaban ko hindi rin basta basta. Kung gaano karaming ang suntok ko dinadamihan din nila. Dinadaan ko na lang sa lakas kasi alam ko malakas ako sa kanila,”she said. 

Her coach, Nolito Velasco, acknowledged they were jittery, especially in the early stages of the tournament. 

"‘Yung mga unang laban natin di bumababa ang dugo natin kasi 3-2 lagi ang score. Ibig sabihin either kami mananalo o kami ang talo kaya palaging high blood kami,” he said. 

“Sabi ko Nes, medyo 1-4-1 o 5-0 mo naman, nanginginig kami sa ilalim.” 

Now that she finally clinched the gold Petecio sets her sights on the Southeast Asian Games. Petecio has already won 3 silvers in the biennial meet. 

This time, she wants the same breakthrough she got in the Worlds. “Sa SEA Games target ko na talaga ang ginto,” she said.

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).

2019 SEA Games