Suarez draws tough first bout; Ladon gets bye
RIO DE JANEIRO—Light flyweight Rogen Ladon drew an auspicious first-round bye while lightweight Charly Suarez got paired with a difficult opening foe in the Olympic boxing competition that gets going here on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Ladon was given a free ride by virtue of his No. 5 ranking in the 49-kilogram class, joining the other seeds led by Cuba’s world champion and top favorite Joahnys Argilagos in the next round.
Only 22 fighters made it to the Olympics in Ladon’s weight division, shortening the Filipino’s road to a bronze medal to just two wins, four for the gold.
The tall, gangly pug from Bago City, Negros Occidental, starts his campaign on Monday against the winner between Brazil’s Patrick Lourenco and Colombia’s Herney Martinez,
If he scores consecutive wins, Ladon will cross paths with Argilagos in the semifinals.
Suarez got the short end of the draw, though, as he opens up against last year’s European champion, Joseph Cordina of Great Britain, the morning after the Games’ opening ceremonies.
The 27-year-old veteran from Davao sets out as the underdog to the Welshman from Cardiff, having shone only in the pro tournaments of the international boxing federation (Aiba) which the world’s top amateur fighters are said to shun.
Still, the PH camp believes that Suarez’s longer ring experience and superior skill could overturn the odds against him.
“There are so many tough fighters in Charly’s division, but he’s used to it,” said national team head coach Nolito “Boy” Velasco in Filipino. “You will see that he has excellent skills to hold his own against the Briton.”