Magno pulverizes Tajik foe for Olympic slot
Irish Magno gave 19-year-old Sumaiya Qosimova a neat clinic in the Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualification Tournament in Amman, Jordan, on Wednesday night to seize a spot in the coming Tokyo Olympics, becoming the fourth Filipino and first lady boxer in the Games.
Asserting herself right from the opening bell, Magno was hardly threatened by Tajikistan’s national flyweight champion, dominating their qualification box-off to claim the sixth and final Olympic slot in her division with a unanimous-decision victory.
Qosimova, visibly slender than the 28-year-old Filipino, had a spirited performance in the next round. The heavy-handed Magno again found her mark as the round went on, giving the judges no reason to doubt the outcome.
But instead of letting her guard down, Magno pressed on and pummeled Qosimova with heavy shots as her confidence grew when the match entered its closing minute.
Carlo Paalam, likewise vying for an Olympic berth, wasn’t as fortunate after the country’s finest in the flyweight division fell short against a rangy Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan, 1-4.
Bibossinov, easily three inches taller than Paalam, maximized his length and gave the Filipino a difficult time to connect.Trailing after two rounds, Paalam went on a rampage, throwing punches in wild abandon in a bid to stop Bibossinov. But time, sadly, wasn’t on his side.
Magno thus joined fellow boxer Eumir Felix Marcial, pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnast Carlos Yulo in the Tokyo Olympics.
Paalam, the reigning Southeast Asian Games champ, still has a chance to secure a spot in the Olympics through another qualifying meet in the World Boxing Championships in Paris, France, on May 13-24, the same avenue that the fancied Nesthy Petecio will take to secure a slot to Tokyo after losing in the semis on Tuesday.
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