PH boxer Bautista urges fair SEA Games judging after Asiad robbery
SINGAPORE - Aggrieved Filipino boxer Ian Clark Bautista called for fair judging on Monday after he reached the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games flyweight final against home favorite Hanurdeen Hamid.
Bautista suffered a controversial defeat to South Korea's Choe Sang-Don at last year's Asian Games in Incheon, and he said he was praying that lightning wouldn't strike twice.
"It’s difficult when you fight against a boxer from the home country but I pray that the judges are good in the final," said Bautista.
"I’m happy and excited but nervous about the fight. But it's my mission to get the gold medal and I’m determined to do my country proud."
Bautista was denied a spot in the Asiad quarter-finals after his controversial points loss to South Korea’s Choe, but he left no doubt about his place in the SEA Games final after he knocked out Thongbang Seuaphom of Laos.
The 20-year-old dominated the bout at the Singapore Expo and ended it with 1:13 left in the second round with a left hook that sent the Laotian down for the count.
Bautista eliminated 2013 SEA Games gold medalist Chatchai Butdee of Thailand in the quarter-finals and he will now face Singapore's Hanurdeen in the final on Wednesday.
Hanurdeen booked his spot in the final after beating 2013 silver medalist Maung Nge by unanimous decision despite suffering a painful cut just below his left eye after an accidental head-butt.
"It was a tough fight against a very strong opponent who won the silver medal at the last SEA Games so it’s really a big thing for me. I gave it all and I’m really happy with the result," said the 21-year-old.
"The headbutt was an accident and things like that happen. But now I’m just focused on my next fight and hoping that I’m recovered for the final."
The only other semi-final that did not go the distance was in bantamweight, where defending champion Mario Fernandez of the Philippines won by technical knock-out against Myanmar’s Naing Latt.
The Myanmar fighter was given three standing eight-counts in the first round before the referee stopped the contest two seconds before the bell.
Fernandez’s opponent in the final is Thailand’s Tanes Ongjunta who won a unanimous decision against Singapore’s Muhamad Ridhwan Ahmad.
Five of the seven men’s finals on Wednesday will feature Filipino boxers, with Rogen Ladon taking on Indonesia's 2013 silver medalist Kornelius Langu in the light flyweight.
Junel Cantancio, the 2013 silver medalist, faces Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hai in lightweight and Eumir Marcial is set for a welterweight showdown with Singapore’s Tay Jia Wei.
The light welterweight final will be between 2013 gold medalist Wuttichai Masuk of Thailand and Cambodia’s Ratha Ven, while the middleweight final will feature Vietnam’s Truong Dinh Hoang and Thailand’s Aphisit Khankhokkhruea.