Nesthy Petecio Commands the Ring

Weave Left, Dodge Right: Nesthy Petecio Commands the Ring

ANTONINA draped shirt and trousers. Photographed by Mark Nicdao for the July 2024 Issue of Vogue Philippines.

Since she was 11, Nesthy Petecio hasn’t held back on her punches. In the ring and in life, she’s gained the confidence to stand for herself: “I know that I’m not treading on anyone’s toes [by being who I am.]”

Nesthy Petecio still remembers her first boxing match. At age 11, she drew in a crowd at her hometown when she won against a man much older and taller than her in a local competition against fighters from other barangays. 

“There were a lot of sporting events happening that day: sepak takraw, volleyball… But when they announced that the next match would feature a boy against a girl, the audience went straight to the boxing ring. So, that made me excited,” she shares in Filipino. She reveals the results of the match in her own words: “Well, he wasn’t completely knocked out—but he definitely felt my punches.”

Ever since, she has been up against opponents taller and larger than her. The secret to win, she says, is to keep her cool. After two decades fighting in the ring, she’s gained the wisdom to know when to dodge and the guts to punch straight through an opportunity. And that philosophy bleeds into her personal life, too.

As a vocal member of the LGBTQ community and an athlete with much expectation on her shoulders, she’s weaved through pointed comments at her identity and her performance in the sport. “When I encounter negative comments, I just laugh at it because I know that I’m not treading on anyone’s toes [by being who I am.]”

And in her Olympic-qualifying match last March, she maintained her composure in a 4-1 split decision win against her opponent from Turkey. While the opposing boxer threw the first punches in the first seconds of the opening round, she bided her time and shuffled back until there was a better opening to strike. Over the years, she has learned to command the ring because she knows that even her own movements have been studied well by her opponent.

“The amount of emotional control I have in the ring, I get to bring into my personal life; I double the amount of discipline for my personal life,” she says, resolutely. “I can’t rush things […] Even though I want to lunge at them, I know I can’t right away because I know they’re waiting for me, too.”

Now, anticipation is building as she looks to upgrade her silver medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to a gold medal in Paris. There is pressure, but she’s entering the ring putting confidence in herself and her training—she’s toppled many Goliaths before and she can do this several times more.

This month, Vogue Philippines pays tribute to stories of grit, determination, and the pursuit of excellence. Below, meet more of the athletes who continue to shatter the glass ceiling of sports.


Vogue Philippines: July 2024 Issue

By BIANCA CUSTODIO, NANA CARAGAY, PATRICIA VILLORIA Photographs by MARK NICDAO Beauty Editor JOYCE OREÑA Fashion Director PAM QUIÑONES. Stylists: David Milan, Steven Coralde of Qurator Studio. Makeup: Angeline dela Cruz, Bea Mocorro, Janica Cleto, and Japeth Purog of Estée Lauder Philippines, Nadynne Esguerra. Hair: JA Feliciano and Kyle Velasco, Jessica Riva and Noel Muncada of Toni&Guy Philippines, Mong Amado. Art Director: Jann Pascua. Producer: Anz Hizon. Bookings Associate: Bianca Zaragoza. Beauty Writer: Bianca Custodio. Nails: Extraordinail. Photographer’s Assistants: Arsan Sulser Hofileña, Crisaldo Soco, John Phillip Nicdao, Villie James Bautista. Stylist’s Assistants: Geno Karlo, Kyla Uy, Ticia Almazan. Shot on location at Balay Kobo and Vogue Studios.
More From Vogue

Share now on:
FacebookXEmailCopy Link