Ian Clark Bautista opened the Philippine boxing team's campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games by scoring a lopsided unanimous decision win against Singapore's Mohammad Hanurdeen Bin in the men's featherweight division.
SEA Games boxing opened on Monday night at the Bac Ninh Stadium, with the 27-year-old Bautista getting the nod of all five judges to advance to the semifinals of his weight class.
"We trained a lot for this Southeast Asian Games so we're praying to accomplish more," said Bautista, who settled for bantamweight bronze in the 2019 SEA Games in Manila.
"I will do my very best to sweep the bouts and hope to bring home gold for our country," he added.
Bautista, a member of the Philippine team since 2009, will next take on Cambodian Rangsey Sao, who beat Sheikh Rahmatullah of Malaysia in their quarterfinals bout.
Another Filipino pug, James Palicte, beat Vietnamese Vu Thanh Dat, 4-1, in the men's lightweight class to move to the quarterfinals against Cambodian Touch Davit in one of the fights set Tuesday.
Also on Tuesday, Thai Open champion and 2019 gold medalist Rogen Ladon battles Malaysia's Muhammad Abdul Qaiyum in the men's flyweight quarterfinals.
The Philippines lost at least a silver medal when the women's middleweight class, where Hergie Bacyadan is competing, was scrapped by organizers due to lack of participants.
Bacyadan, a former wushu practitioner who is the reigning Thai Open champion, confirmed that only the Philippines and Vietnam fielded entries in the division. For an event to push through, at least four entries are needed.