Suarez: I accept defeat, God has a bigger plan for me
RIO DE JANEIRO—Charly Suarez lost his first Olympic bout by the skin of his teeth on Saturday night but, after letting off steam, accepted his destiny.
“In my heart I won that fight,” said the self-effacing Davaoeño in Filipino. “I clearly won the second and third rounds at least.
“I believe it’s God’s will and He has better plans for me.”
Suarez fought like a man possessed to baffle Great Britain’s Joseph Cordina but still fell short and lost by split decision at Riocentro Pavilion 6 here.
Victory would have averted a shutout for the country right on the first day of hostilities at the Rio Olympics here following the first-round elimination of table tennis hope Ian Lariba and swimmer Jessie Khing Lacuna.
Two of the three judges scored the fight in favor of Cordina, the reigning European champion from Wales—29-28, 28-29, 30-27—with only the judge from Uzbekistan giving Suarez the shorter end in all three rounds of the lightweight (60 kg) bout.
“I quickly read his style and fought him the way I liked to,” said Suarez. “I accept my defeat and the judges’ decision because I have my God who knows better.”
Suarez said he was actually expecting a unanimous decision win or a split verdict in his favor.
Clearly the more aggressive fighter, he said he changed his usual fighting stance at will to offset the reach of the Welshman, who enjoyed a three-inch height advantage.
The underdog Suarez tagged Cordina with at least three right hooks in each of the second and third rounds to the delight of a big section of the gallery, many of whom were Filipino overseas workers.
Energized by fans chanting his name, Suarez threw caution to the wind and attacked his foe’s body and face relentlessly.
Ed Picson, the executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, said he thought his fighter won at least the last two rounds.
“Charly connected well and was the more aggressive fighter,” said Picson. “He clearly won the second and third rounds. I can’t understand why the Uzbek judge gave all three rounds to Cordina.”
Had Suarez won, his next opponent would have been Uzbek Hurahid Tujidaev.
Suarez’s defeat left light flyweight Rogen Ladon as the only Filipino boxer still in the hunt for a medal.
Ladon, who drew a bye in the first round, fights Colombia’s Herney Martinez in the second on Monday morning (10:30 p.m. in Manila).
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