NCR’s Daryl Dela Cruz bags boxing gold in Palarong Pambansa

NCR boxer Daryl Dela Cruz Palarong Pambansa

NCR boxer Daryl Dela Cruz in Palarong Pambansa 2023. –JUNE NAVARRO

Daryl Dela Cruz floored his rival halfway through in the second round and punctuated another National Capital Region dominance with a golden finish in the secondary boys boxing at the close of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa on Saturday.

Dela Cruz, finely wrought in the stable of the El Tigre Boxing Gym in Mandaluyong City, ferociously connected with crisp strikes to the body of the rangy Bienjemar Codoy of Central Visayas, rewarding the 18-year-old southpaw with a split decision victory in the bantamweight division.

“I tried to be accurate in hitting my opponent because I cannot let him take advantage of his longer reach,’’ said Dela Cruz in Filipino as boxing fans milled around him at the Marikina City Hall plaza.

The incoming Grade 12 at the Andres Bonifacio Integrated School plans to immediately jump into prizefighting after finishing high school.

“It’s a dream to become a professional fighter. I might have won here, but I know it will take more training and sacrifice for me to achieve my goal,’’ said Dela Cruz, a son of a fisherman from the seaside town of Tambongan, Gandara in Samar.

Also striking the gold in other weight divisions were Region 12’s Ian Carl Muyso (flyweight) and Zyvyr John Medecilo (minimum weight), bantamweight Tyron Jay Quillosa of Zamboanga, light bantam Christian Pador of Region 10 and pinweight Leo Mhar Lobrido of Western Visayas.


The victory of Dela Cruz capped another triumphant campaign by the Big City bets, who amassed 85 gold medals, 74 silvers and 55 bronzes to rule the Palaro for past 21 editions.

Western Visayas placed second overall with 60 golds, 45 silvers and 44 bronzes and Calabarzon ended up third with a 52-52-57 tally at the end of the week-long games for student-athletes in elementary and high school organized by the Department of Education with the backing of the Philippine Sports Commission and host Marikina City.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.

Your subscription has been successful.

Read Next

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.