Petecio should be wary of 'sneaky' Japanese foe in gold medal match, PH boxing official cautions

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 2) — Filipino boxer Nesthy Petecio is one victory away from giving the country another gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Standing in her way to supremacy is a very familiar face — Japanese Sena Irie.

For Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines Secretary General Ed Picson, Petecio must give a top-notch performance in order to beat the hometown bet.

"She’s (Irie) very sneaky, she’s got some tricks up her sleeve and Nesthy has to be at her best to be able to hurdle this final challenge," he told CNN Philippines' Sports Desk Monday.

This is the fourth time the two boxers face each other on the international stage. They first met in 2019 at the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships where Irie scored a split decision win. Petecio avenged the loss following a majority decision victory at the World Women’s Boxing Championships the same year. Irie fired back when she defeated Petecio at the Olympic qualifiers via unanimous decision last year.

Picson sees Petecio's prior loss to Irie as a great motivator for the Filipina boxer who is aiming to be the first Asian woman to win gold in the Olympics.

"This time I think Nesthy is all 100% focused on the job at hand. She knows that she is coming of a loss against Irie," the ABAP official said.

Petecio and Irie square off in the women's featherweight final on August 3.

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