PH boxer Suarez loses split decision to Britain's Cordina in Rio
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Filipino lightweight boxer Charly Suarez dropped a split decision to Great Britain's Joe Cordina on Sunday, August 7, ending his medal hopes and continuing the country's losing streak to begin the Rio Olympics.
Two judges scored the fight in favor of the 24-year-old Cordina - 30-27 and 29-28 - while the third saw it 29-28 in the Filipino's favor. The 27-year-old Suarez of Sawata, Davao del Norte started slowly against the Welsh switch hitter, who enjoyed a two-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage.
Suarez pulled even in the second round with his accurate counterpunches, feeling the rhythm as he celebrated with a Muhammad Ali-inspired foot shuffle in the final minute.
Suarez was the busier fighter over the first two minutes of round 3 before Cordina closed the round with a a spat of punches which may have earned him the edge. Suarez tells Rappler that he believes he deserved the decision.
"As a human I'm disappointed," said Suarez. "Because I'm a follower of Jesus Christ I accepted the decision of the judges. The crowd booed when my opponent won.
"First, second, third. I thought I won."
Ed Picson, executive director of ABAP, the Philippines' national sports association for amateur boxing, expressed incredulity at the 30-27 scorecard, which he felt did not reflect what had occurred.
With the defeat, the Philippines is down to one boxer - light flyweight Rogen Ladon - who will face Colombian Yuberjen Martinez in the round of 16 at 10 pm on Monday night Manila time.
The Philippines is now down to 10 athletes after an 0-3 start to the 2016 Olympiad. Flag bearer and table tennis player Ian Lariba lost a 4-0 match to Congo's Xing Han while Filipino swimmer Jessie Lacuna finished 46th out of 50 in the men's 400m freestyle swimming heats, failing to advance to the next round.
Cordina will face Uzbekistan's Hurshid Tojibaev in the round of 16. Tojibaev defeated Hakan Erseker of Qatar by 30-27 scores on all 3 cards earlier in the day to advance. – Rappler.com