Despite knockdown, Carlo Paalam fought his heart out in silver finish
MANILA, Philippines–Carlo Paalam showed great resolve after going down in the first round of the men’s flyweight final against Galal Yafai at the Tokyo Olympics.
Paalam rallied and fought his heart out but only to fall short as he took home the silver.
“Di naman maiwasan na ganun mangyari. Nilabas ko nalang po talaga yung best ko. Kita niyo naman na lumalaban ako. Alam ko na ang pusong Pilipino palaban po,” Paalam said.
(We can’t avoid what just happened. I just tried to give my best. You saw that I kept fighting. I know that the heart of a Filipino never backs down.)
“Siguro wala na tayong mahihingi pa kay Carlo. Binigay niya ang lahat, hindi lang tayo pinalad,” said Ed Picson, Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) secretary-general, in a TV interview Saturday after Paalam’s split decision setback.
(We couldn’t ask for more from Paalam. He gave his all, we’re just not fortunate to get the win.)
Caught against the ropes, Paalam hit the canvas after taking a combination from Yafai.
But the knockdown failed to take the fight out of Paalam, who kept exchanging blows with Yafai for the remainder of the round to avoid a 10-8 score from the judges.
“In amateur boxing, while it is not automatic to be given a 10-8 score because of the knockdown, you could. You can even give a 10-7 if you think that one boxer really dominated the round or showed general mastery of the match. But the fact that the five judges gave it a 10-9 instead of a 10-8, points to the fact that Carlo Paalam stayed with Yafai the entire round,” Picson said.
“Carlo battled even after that knockdown.”
The loss may have denied Paalam from becoming the first Filipino boxer to win Olympic gold, but his maiden campaign in the Summer Games showed he will be a force to reckon with in Paris 2024.
The 23-year-old Paalam, who used to be a scavenger in Cagayan de Oro due to poverty, also made history as only the fifth boxer to seize the silver medal.
The Philippines wrapped up its Tokyo campaign with one gold, two silvers, and a bronze with three of the medals courtesy of the boxing contingent. Featherweight Nesthy Petecio won the other silver while middleweight Eumir Marcial bagged the lone bronze.
Weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz won the gold, the first and only of its kind in the history of the Philippines’ participation in the Olympics which started in 1924.
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