It isn’t game over for single mother and veteran Filipna boxer Josie Gabuco as she ruled the light flyweight division of the Asian Boxing Championship held on April 26, 2019, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Having been a member of the national boxing team for 15 years, many were already dubious about the 32-year old’s ability inside the ring. But her detractors were proven wrong when during the finals bout against North Korean Kim Hyang Mi, Gabuco showed the same relentlessness enough for her to clinch the gold.
Known for her speed and agility that confuse her foes, many of Mi’s punches missed hitting the Filipina fighter. Prior to their title match, Gabuco outlasted Kazakhstan’s Alua Balkibekova, Bhutan’s TandinLhamo, and Mongolia’s Balsan Mungunsaran.
Gabuco was also declared as the Best Female Boxer. Her triumphant finish made way for the Philippines to reach the final round of the continental tournament—a feat that only 14 out of the 34 participating countries achieved. This victory also adds to her many accolades, among which is being a four-time Southeast Asian Games gold medallist.
Philippine Olympic Committee head and Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines president Ricky Vargas was quick to recognize the victor. “She really deserves the win. She worked hard, focused, and believed[…] I’m so happy for her,” he says.
Gabudoc was coached by Nolito Velasco and Mitchel Martinez. Australian coaching consultant Don Abnett was all praises too for the Filipina.
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