Charly Suarez will get a chance to continue his dream of winning Olympic gold.
Suarez, 31, left the national team last year to turn professional and has so far scored three straight wins.
Last week, Suarez was asked by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), the sport’s national governing body, to go to its office and fill out documents that will make him part of the national team for the Southeast Asian Games.
“Maganda naman kasi ang paalam ko sa ABAP nung magdesisyon ako na mag-pro. 2008 pa alam na nila ’yun ang direksyon ko pero gagawin ko lang kung maka-Olympics ako,” revealed Suarez.
After two futile attempts making the Olympics in 2008 and 2012, the Davao Del Norte boxer finally gained an Olympic stint when he qualified for the 2016 Rio Games.
“Pasalamat ako sa ABAP kasi binigyan nila ako pagkakataon na makamit ang mga pangarap ko. Nakakataba din ng puso na ngayon, nagtitiwala pa ulit sila na maging part ako ng national team,” said Suarez.
Head coach Ronald Chavez said tapping Suarez should not create any animosity on the team.
“Sa ngayon inaayos pa ’yung makasama ulit si Charly pero OK naman ang team kasi alam naman nila ang kakayahan ni Charly,” said Chavez.
The International Boxing Association (AIBA), the sport’s international federation, opened its doors to professional boxers during the Rio Games where three pro campaigners, including former world champions Amnat Ruenroeng of Thailand and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam of Cameroon competed.
All three prizefighters failed to get past the second round.
“Sa awa ng Diyos kung may chance na makasali next year sa Olympics mas lalo ko pag-iigihan. Pangarap ko maging world champion sa pro pero hindi pa din nawawala ’yung makakuha ako ng Olympic gold,” disclosed Suarez.
Suarez, who also bagged a silver in the tough 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, will be eyeing a third SEA Games gold.
He was a two-time SEA games gold winner when he dominated the 2009 Laos Games as a featherweight and the 2011 event as a lightweight. Suarez missed the 2013 and 2015 editions of the biennial meet after he was signed to compete in AIBA’s own professional tournament.
Now campaigning as a lightweight in the pro ranks, Suarez competed in the light-welterweight division during the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur where he settled for a bronze.
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