4 Pinoy boxers advance to Olympics Qualifying semis; Petecio out
The road to Rio is paved with smashing wins and casualties.
The temperature in Qian’An, China isn’t the only thing that is dropping. With frigid temperatures that plummeted to as low as 3 degrees Celsius, the 6-member Philippine delegation to the Asian-Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers is down to 4 after lone female bet, Nesthy Petecio, succumbed to a shocking loss at the Tangshan Sports Centre on Tuesday, March 29.
Flyweight Rogen Ladon, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, lightweight Charly Suarez, and welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial all hurdled their opponents to barge into the medal round semi-finals where one more win will send them to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics this August.
Ladon handily utilized his speed and accuracy when he dispatched Iraqi Shakir Hassan Ali Al-Kaabi via unanimous decision win. The Bago City, Negros Occidental native scored 30-25 on all 3 judges’ cards to advance to the next round where he meets India’s Devendro Singh Laishram.
The Indian national competed in the 2012 London Olympics where he lost in the quarterfinals to eventual bronze medalist, Paddy Barnes from Ireland. Interestingly, Laishram has in his corner his sister, Sushila Devi Laishram, a former international boxing champion, who helps formulate their game plan for the fight.
Mario Fernandez punched his way to a 30-27, 30-27 & 29-28 decision over Jordan’s Mohammed Abdelaziz al-Wadi to also book his semifinals seat. His next opponent is highly-rated Thai Chatchai Butdee, who is a London Olympics veteran (where he lost in the second round in his weight class).
Philippine delegation team captain Charly Suarez followed Ladon’s lead with a decisive win over India’s Dheeraj Rangi. Suarez was graded a pair of 30-27 scores to go with a 29-28 to also move into the medal round. The veteran slugger will face a stern test when he takes on hometown bet China's Shan Jun on Thursday.
“Sa laban na ganito,” said the 27-year old Suarez. “Kailangan convincing or kaya mapatumba siya. Mahirap mapunta to sa desisyon (In a fight like this I need a convincing result or a knockdown or knockout so this doesn’t go to a decision where anything can happen).
Marcial, one of the 3 top-ranked Filipino seeds along with Ladon and Suarez, had no problem disposing of Iranian Sajjad Kazemzadeh Poshtiri. The judges awarded the fighting Filipino out of Lunzuran, Zamboanga a unanimous decision with two scores of 30-27 and 29-28.
The hard-hitting boxer next trades gloves with Uzbekistan’s Shakram Giyasov of Uzbekistan.
For all the triumphs of last Tuesday, the day ended on a sour note when 5-time world champion Mery Kom Hmangte of India was awarded an unanimous decision victory over Nesthy Petecio.
RP Women’s head coach Roel Velasco was surprised at the decision. "We thought Nesthy had her. She delivered clear blows and outboxed the Indian. We were surprised with the decision.”
As disappointed Petecio was also at a loss to explain the result. "She hardly touched me. And I could hear her grunt and groan every time I hit her. I hope I have another chance at her. I promise you it will be much different."
Despite Petecio and Roldan Boncales dropping out of Olympic qualification, the two, according to ABAP Executive Director Edgar Picson said they will continue to support their colleagues in their remaining matches no matter how painful their fate.
“Another win by any or all of our remaining boxers isn’t a win only for them and our countrymen but also for Roldan and Nesthy,” said Picson. – Rappler.com