CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The long-time coach of Olympic boxing silver medalist Carlo Paalam said there are three more boxers here who have the potentials to represent the country in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Coach Elmer Pamisa said in an online press conference Tuesday that he will train Eljay Pamisa, Mark Lester Durens, and Jericho Acaylar for tournaments leading to the next Summer Games, as discussed with Ricky Vargas and Ed Picson, the president and secretary-general, respectively, of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP).
"I hope you will still support us in our preparations," Pamisa said.
The 23-year-old Paalam arrived here Tuesday, with the local government handing him a PHP2-million cash incentive and a commendation from the city council.
On Monday night, he joined gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, fellow silver medalist Nesthy Petecio, and bronze medalist Eumir Marcial in Malacañang where President Rodrigo Duterte gave their cash rewards and citations.
The younger Pamisa, the coach’s nephew, was only 15 when he snatched silver in the pinweight division (44-46 kilograms) at the 2019 Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Asian Men and Juniors Boxing Championships in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.
Acaylar failed to get past the elimination phase of the 50-kilogram category of the same event while Durens reached the semifinals of the 49-kilogram category of the ASBC Asian Elite Men's and Women Championships in Dubai, also in 2019.
Pamisa said Paalam will have to rest for at least three months before he begins training for the rescheduled 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The biennial event was supposed to be held in November but was moved to next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Paalam might also undergo a minor operation on his left arm because of some discomfort.
Mayor Oscar Moreno said Paalam may have lost the gold but he opened doors for potential medalists.
"I hope there would be more opportunities for him and others like him in the future. I also hope that Carlo Paalam’s experience will inspire Cagayan de Oro City’s boys and girls to aim high. Carlo’s future is bright and he has enough time and is young enough to fight for another Olympic gold," he said during the online briefing.
Paalam acknowledged the support of the local and provincial governments ever since he started boxing at eight years old.
"I missed Cagayan de Oro. I especially thank Mayor Moreno for his support ever since he was governor of Misamis Oriental even until today when he’s the mayor of Cagayan de Oro," Paalam said in the vernacular. (PNA)