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Fernandez suffers from cataract, begs off from Olympic qualifier

AIBA (file photo)
By JP Abcede

MANILA--Bantamweight Mario Fernandez won’t be competing in the final AIBA Olympic boxing qualifying event in Baku, Azerbaijan due to suffering from cataract on his left eye.

The Asian Games bronze medalist was supposed to join flyweight Ian Clark Bautista and welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial in the final leg of Olympic qualifiers to be held from June 14-26.

However, Fernandez decided to sit this one out after complaining of double vision while training in Baguio last week, where his ailment was discovered.

A second opinion by another ophthalmologist in Manila on Friday revealed the same result.

“It was Mario himself who decided he could not concentrate fully with the thought of his eye condition in the back of his mind,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson. “Although it is not life-threatening nor a serious condition, this is boxing and the cause of the condition was trauma, so we didn't want to take the risk. We would rather he continue with the tests and treatment the doctors have lined up for him and hopefully he can fully recover and fight another day.”

ABAP president Ricky Vargas assured that the Bukidnon native’s medical needs will be taken care of, according to Picson.

The 2013 and 2015 SEA Games gold medalist garnered a bronze medal in April in Qian’an, China in the Asian/Oceanian Olympic qualifier, however only three boxers in his weight division were given outright slots for the four-year summer spectacle as he finished fourth.

Previously making it to Rio are light flyweight Rogen Ladon and lightweight Charly Suarez.

[Related Story: Suarez, Ladon punch tickets to Rio Olympics]

Eight-division professional boxing champion Manny Pacquiao also begged off in competing at the Olympics as a wildcard.

[Related Story: Pacquiao begs off from joining Olympics]

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