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PH boxer Paalam ousted by Malaysian in dubious decision at 2017 SEA Games

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing resumed in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games with Filipino light flyweight Carlo Paalam being the first eliminated after a dubious decision loss to Muhamad Fuad Redzuan of the host nation Malaysia on Monday, August 21.

Paalam, a 19-year-old from Cagayan de Oro City, was making his SEA Games debut after a bronze medal performance at the 2016 Youth World Championships. He controlled the fight against Malaysia's Muhamad Redzuan with his cleaner punching and foot movement, but the hometown fighter was awarded the 5-0 decision.

No points were deducted from Redzuan, whose primary offense involved takedowns, headlocks and the occasional lacing of his opponent's face in clinches. The referee offered a few passive warnings but did little to take control of the fight.

One such incident included a third-round sequence where Redzuan leapt in and grabbed Paalam, then dug the palm of his glove into Paalam's face, for which Paalam was warned as if he was the offending party.

Malaysian boxer Muhamad Redzuan dives in, uses the heel of his glove on PH boxer Carlo Paalam. Referee warns Filipino boxer instead pic.twitter.com/dhOtZ3dnB9 — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) August 21, 2017

Another instance showed Paalam landing a punch which sent Redzuan down, but no knockdown was called.

Carlo Paalam connects a punch in Muhamad Redzuan of Malaysia, who goes down. No knockdown called. Ref allowed it to become a WWE match pic.twitter.com/PIVXUfINYV — Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) August 21, 2017

ABAP executive director Ed Picson declined to make comment about the officiating and scoring other than to say "I thought it was the other way around. But it is what it is."

Picson had previously criticized the judging at the 2013 SEA Games, in which host nation Myanmar won two golds at the Philippines' expense.

Three other Filipino boxers are scheduled for competition Monday, including light heavyweight John Marvin, lightweight Charly Suarez and bantamweight Mario Fernandez. – Rappler.com