JAKARTA -- Another Filipino boxer is assured of at least a bronze medal in the 2018 Asian Games after Carlo Paalam defeated his Kazakhstan opponent via split decision in the light-flyweight division on Wednesday afternoon.
Paalam got the nod of four of the five judges inside Hall C at the Jakarta International Expo to defeat Kazakhstan’s Temirtas Zhussupov in the quarterfinal.
By advancing to the semifinals, he joins Rogen Ladon in securing at least a bronze for the Philippines.
“Normal lang ‘yung kaba, pero sabi ko nga po, si God na ang bahala, at sarili ko na lang doon sa taas ng ring. Diskarte ko po, at makinig ako sa mga coaches,” the 20-year-old Paalam said afterward.
“Labas ko lang ang laro ko po, at tiwala lang sa sarili ko,” he added.
Paalam showed no fear of his older opponent, as he repeatedly landed the cleaner, harder punches while making the Kazakh boxer miss. He punctuated his dominant performance in the second round by landing a huge overhand right, the cleanest punch of the round.
Three of the judges scored the fight in his favor, 30-27, while another saw it 29-28. A judge from Iran, however, scored it 29-28 for Zhussupov.
The split decision surprised Philippine boxing coach Ronald Chavez, who believed his boxer had dominated the entire bout.
“Kahit sino naman siguro, kahit hindi marunong mag-boxing, nakikita naman nila na mula first round hanggang last round, tayo talaga ang nananalo,” said the coach.
Nevertheless, Paalam becomes the second Filipino boxer to advance to the semifinals.
Eumir Marcial can join him in the semis when he fights Korea’s Kim Jinjea in the middleweight division tonight.
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