Suarez: It just wasn’t for me
INCHEON, South Korea—There was no trace of disappointment in Charly Suarez’ face as he smiled off a failure to win the gold medal for the Philippines in the lightweight final of the boxing competitions of the 17th Asian Games at Seonhak Gymnasium here.
The soft-spoken, bible-quoting Suarez lost to Mongolia’s Otgondalai Dorjnyambuu in their duel for the gold, his inability to consistently drill past his foe’s defenses sealing his downfall in the only weight class the Philippine boxing team had a finals bet.
“I was relaxed and I fought my game, but it just wasn’t meant to be,” said Suarez, whose dark skin tone camouflaged the light bruise underneath his right eye.
Dorjnyambuu controlled the fight at the onset, throwing more combinations that, when they connected, drew roars of approval from a thick Mongolian cheering section in the coliseum. In one sequence in the first round, Dorjnyambuu landed a straight that backed the Filipino up.
Suarez tried to fight his way back into the bout, managing to step into range and delivering huge blows, but those instances were few and far in between.
“I don’t know,” Suarez said when asked why he couldn’t press the attack more against a foe he had already beaten before. “I guess he just threw more punches.”
Ricky Vargas, the president of the country’s national boxing federation, was disappointed with the result, feeling that Suarez had done enough to bag the gold.
“It’s getting harder and harder to tell exactly how the scoring works,” Vargas told journalists. “I felt that Charly won the bout. It wasn’t only me but the people sitting beside me. This is the worst officiated tournament I have ever attended.”
Suarez said he will bounce back from this defeat and try to land a spot in the national team for both the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore next year and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“If the Lord wills that I get a slot, I will continue to train hard and represent the country,” said Suarez, who said he was thankful for the silver medal and the opportunity to wear the country’s colors here.
The Abap has several junior boxers in the wings, some of whom were discovered in its most recent National Open.
“We’ll move on and shift our focus to trying to qualify as many boxers to the next Olympics as possible,” Vargas said.
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