Carlo Paalam put himself one win away from an Olympic bronze medal with a unanimous decision win in the men’s flyweight round of 16 on Saturday, July 31, at the Kokugikan Arena.
Paalam pulled off an upset over two-time Olympian Mohamed Flissi of Algeria, who made it to the quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 win.
The Cagayan de Oro native will face Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, August 3, at 10:15 am for a chance in the medal round.
Paalam scored a right straight to the head of Flissi in the opening round, helping him gain the nod of all five judges.
The Filipino was quick to evade a more aggressive Flissi, who closed in on Paalam. But Paalam managed to land his own shots when the Algerian was within range.
Paalam further protected his lead when Flissi continued to miss his desperation shots and the 22-year-old Filipino landed a left hook to show who the clear winner is.
This is the second time the youngest Filipino boxer in the delegation defeated a two-time Olympian in his Tokyo Olympics draw.
In the round of 32, Paalam won by split decision over Ireland’s Brendan Irvine, who also saw action in the London and Rio Games like Flissi.
At 19 years old, Paalam won a breakthrough medal in a major competition by copping a 2018 Asian Games bronze, and followed it up with a gold in the 2019 SEA Games in front of the home crowd. – Rappler.com