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MANILA, Philippines – One more win and Carlo Paalam is guaranteed of a medal in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
Paalam advanced to the quarterfinals of the men’s 57kg division after a split decision win over Kyrgyzstan’s Munarbek Seiitbek-Uulu at the Hangzhou Gymnasium on Saturday, September 30.
Banking on his counterpunching, Paalam lived to fight another day with four of the five judges scoring in his favor in the nail-biting 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 victory.
Paalam unanimously won the opening round before the taller Seiitbek-Uulu – a bronze medalist in the previous world championships – narrowed the gap as he used his size and aggression to put the Filipino in unfavorable positions.
But Paalam proved why he captured silver in the Tokyo Olympics, doing just enough to earn the nod from three judges in the third round and advance.
It is only bound to get tougher for Paalam, though, as he faces Uzbekistan’s Abdumalik Khalokov in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, October 3.
Khalokov won gold medals in the 2023 IBA Boxing World Championships, 2022 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships, and 2018 Youth Olympics.
Eumir Marcial also reached the last eight as he locks horns with Thailand’s Weerapon Jongjoho on Sunday, October 1, for a place in the semifinals.
Aside from medals, Paalam and Marcial are gunning for Olympic berths, with the finalists in their respective divisions qualifying for the Paris Games next year. – Rappler.com