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Paalam seeks revenge on foe


PhilBoxing.com



Carlo Paalam.
With 32 of 63 featherweight (57kg) fighters still standing in the race for three Paris tickets, Carlo Paalam hopes to avenge a previous loss to Turkmenistan’s Shukur Ovezov when they face off at the second World Qlympic Qualifying Tournament in Bangkok today.

Ovezov stopped Paalam at 0:52 of the second frame in their encounter at the first World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Italy last March. Paalam surrendered with a shoulder injury he sustained in beating Mexico’s Andrey Bonilla two days before and walked away after attempting to battle in the first round which he lost in four of the five judges’ scorecards. It entered the record books as a Referee Stopped Contest.

“Carlo’s speed will be his main advantage,” said ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo. “He has to win four more bouts to secure the Olympic quota but he’s more than ready for it.” This time, Paalam will face Ovezov with no handicap. A win will move Paalam to the Round of 16 on Thursday against the winner of the match between Armenia’s Artur Bazeyan and Jordan’s Yousef Iashash. A possible collision course with China’s Lyu Ping is in the horizon if Paalam advances.

Earlier, flyweight Rogen Ladon and lightweight Pitt Laurente bowed out in their initial fights. Ladon lost a 4-1 decision to Spain’s Rafael Lozano, Jr. while Laurente was blanked, 5-0, by Kazakhstan’s Bazarbay Mukhammedsabyr. The fourth Philippine hopeful Hergie Bacyadan fought Spain’s Dunia Mas Martinez yesterday.

Ladon, 30, will likely retire from competition and join the ABAP coaching ranks. “Lozano lost to a Filipino, Ronel Suyom, in the semis of the 2022 World Youth Championships and participated with Rogen in a training camp in Spain early this year so they’re familiar with each other,” said Manalo. “Footwork, counter attacks and volume of punches were not Rogen’s usual. Rogen has given every ounce of his energy to represent us at this stage and we thank him for that. Pro is not enticing for him. He might retire and become a coach.”

Manalo said Laurente couldn’t execute the fight plan against Bazarbay. “We thought he had advantages that he could capitalize on with his speed, lateral movement and hit-and-move style,” he noted. “The Kazakh was more aggressive throughout. He’s the only one in their men’s team who hadn’t qualified and that probably pushed him more.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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