Philippines, 20 Jan 2020
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CHARLY SUAREZ SUFFERS HEARTBREAKING SPLIT DECISION LOSS TO EUROPEAN LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION JOE CORDINA


PhilBoxing.com




The Philippines lightweight hopeful, veteran Charly Suarez dropped a heartbreaking split decision loss to European champion and Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Joe Cordina of Wales in a fight that probably ended the 28 year old Filipino?s career in his quest for a coveted Olympic medal of whatever hue.

Suarez started slowly in his opening bout at the Riocentro Convention Center but the Filipino who skipped participating in the colourful opening ceremonies in order to rest and study tapes of his opponent came back with a vengeance in the second round and swarmed all over Cordina to even the score at one round apiece entering the crucial third and final round.

In an action-packed toe-to-toe battle in the third and final round Cordina used his three inch height and reach advantage to good effect, staying on the outside to score on jabs and one-two combinations to oust the first of only two Filipinos who had qualified for the Rio Games.

The judges scoring raised serious questions about fairness especially after Uzbekistan judge Jasurbek Kurbanov of Uzbekistan scored all three rounds by a score of 10-9 for Cordina while the two other judges, Emre Aydin of Turkey and Hassan Moudrikah of Morocco scored round two for Suarez 10-9

The exit of the 28-year-old Suarez leaves light-flyweight Rogen Ladon as the Philippines last man standing in the passionate quest for an elusive Olympic gold medal.

The country hasn?t won an Olympic medal for the past 20 years and has hoped to end the drought in Rio.

The tough loss by Suarez capped a rather disappointing day for the 13-man Philippine contingent here, which began with the loss of Ian Lariba in women?s table tennis, followed by the elimination of swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna in the heat of the men?s 400m freestyle.

For a while, Suarez appeared ready to end the Filipinos? series of misfortunes after offsetting a slow start with a good counter-punching style and swarming all over Cordina to take the second round and level the score, paving the way for the all-out action in the final round.

But the Briton wisely kept his distance against the Filipino by using his long arms to score on jabs and combinations.

Light flyweight Rogen Ladon who drew a bye in the opening round will face Colombia?s American qualification winner Yurbejen Hern Martinez who beat Brazil?s Patrick Lourenco, disappointing the hometown fans who had given him a suitably warm welcome.

AIBA reported that Lourenco looked to assert himself against Martinez in an energetic start but Martinez was patient as he slowly ripped through the Brazilian?s defense and won by a unanimous decision.

AIBA said Martinez ?will take great confidence into Monday?s second round clash with the Philippines Rogen Ladon who is ranked No. 5 in the light flyweight division at the Rio Olympics.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.


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