SEA Games: Suarez, two Filipino pugs enter semis; Paalam out
KUALA LUMPUR — Two-time champion Charly Suarez battered Malaysia foe to score a convincing decision win and lead two other Filipino boxers to the Southeast Asian Games semifinals at MITEC Hall 8.
Suarez slammed left and right upper cuts to the solar plexus of Khir Akyazlan Azmi in the third to win the 64kg quarterfinal match before a band of uniformed, boisterous crowd trying to distract the Filipino.
“I told myself that I need to win the favor of the crowd,” said Suarez in Filipino who unloaded his power punches that put Azmi on all fours. The Malaysian, though, made the count.
Mario Fernandez also advanced after a masterful unanimous decision win over Tran Phu Masuk of Vietnam in the 56kg.
Fernandez, the defending champion in bantamweight division, controlled the match with his 1-2 combinations.
Fil-Briton Felix John Nobel Tupas finished the card with a dominant debut for the Philippines team in 81kg, banging Cambodian Felix Merlin Martinez via unanimous decision.
But the victories were tinged by the questionable defeat of Carlo Paalam to Malaysian Muhamad Fuad Redzuan in the 49kg.
Paalam, one of the most promising boxers in the country at only 19 years old, was clearly on top of everything against the fighter who had earlier in his career lost to Filipinos Rogen Ladon and Elmer Pamisa.
But Redzuan kept Paalam busy by dragging him down at least four times throughout the match.
The Malaysian also threw haymakers coming from out of nowhere and landing very few.
That decision shocked the Philippine team here drawing criticism as the Malaysian Sports Minister Brig. Gen. Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar was in the sidelines.
News and features about 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from August 19-30. Visit http://inq.news/seagames.
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