MANILA, Philippines—Charly Suarez of the Philippines won his third Southeast Asian Games gold medal in thrilling fashion, as he outpointed Thailand's Khunatip Pidnuch in the men's lightweight final on Monday at the PICC Forum.
It was a close contest, but Suarez landed a left hand cleanly midway through the second round that changed the complexion of the contest.
Pidnuch was given a standing 8-count, and Suarez swarmed him with punches in a bid to finish the bout early. The Thai FIGHTER survived the round, but Suarez gained confidence at that point and let his fists go in the third round.
" 'Yung kalaban talaga, sabi ko matibay kasi kahit ano'ng tama kong malakas, lumalaban," said Suarez afterward.
The two brawled to end the bout, but Suarez won a comfortable unanimous decision win for the Philippines' fifth gold medal in boxing.
"Matibay ang kalaban ko at saludo din ako sa kanya," said Suarez, who has already fought thrice as a professional but returned to the amateur ranks to compete in the SEA Games.
He previously won gold in 2009 and 2011, but settled for bronze two years ago in Kuala Lumpur.
"Gift from God talaga 'to. Ito 'yung pinaka-blessing sa akin sa taong nito," said Suarez.
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