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PH bet Irish Magno wins Olympic boxing debut

By: - Sports Editor / @ftjochoaINQ
/ 10:50 AM July 25, 2021
Philippines' Irish Magno vs Kenya's Christine Christine Ongare in the round of 32 match of the Tokyo Olympics boxing event

Philippines’ Irish Magno vs Kenya’s Christine Christine Ongare in the round of 32 match of the Tokyo Olympics boxing event. INQUIRER PHOTO/Francis Ochoa

TOKYO–Irish Magno stuck faithfully to their “bread-and-butter” tactic on Sunday.

By the end of her preliminary round bout in the women’s flyweight division of the Tokyo Olympics, her foe, Christine Ongare of Kenya, was toast.

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Magno scored a dominating unanimous decision over her slightly-favored opponent at Kokugikan Arena, mending a Philippine heart broken by the loss of highly-fancied gymnast Carlos Yulo the night before.

“Let’s not aim too high first; let’s take this step by step,” said Magno, tempering expectations that are likely to soar after she smothered her opponent with combinations that coach Don Abnett called their “bread-and-butter” strategy.

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“I gave my best but I fought a good fighter,” Ongare, ranked eight spots higher than Magno at 17, said after the match.

Magno found her range early, clearing body shots that pierced Ongare’s defenses and allowing the Filipino to punish her opponent with head shots.

A bamboozled Ongare had little answer to Magno’s onslaught. So dominant was Magno that she won all the rounds in all judges cards, with one judge awarding the Filipino a 10-8 in the third.

Magno faces Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong in the round-of-16 on July 29.

Jitpong was the last fighter Magno defeated in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, eliminating the Thai in their semifinal bout. Magno eventually lost to Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Tam in the final.

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