3 Filipino boxers barge into Tammer Cup finals
FEATHERWEIGHT Charly Suarez, light welter Delfin Boholst and light fly Victorio Saludar reached the finals in their respective divisions with impressive victories Saturday in the 31st Tammer Cup in Tampere, Finland. Suarez overwhelmed Petteri Fjordholm of host country Finland, 7-2; Boholst outclassed another Finn, Jarkko Potkonen, 6-0, and Saludar whipped Artem Ivaschenko of Russia, 4-1, in early semifinal bouts. Flyweight Rey Saludar was set to face Declan Garraghty of Ireland at presstime in a bid to complete a four-for-four semifinal romp for the PLDT-Abap team preparing for the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, next month. Saludar was the last to join Suarez, Boholst and younger brother Victorio in the semis Friday when he stopped Ahmed Al Mesmari of the United Arab Emirates. Saludar proved too classy for the UAE bet, who took three standing eight counts before the bout was halted with 1:30 left in the opening round. The stoppage matched a similar feat pulled off by brother Victorio, who put away his UAE rival Al Mas Dhandhani with 1:51 to go in the first round of their light flyweight bout earlier in the day. Suarez, who is one of 14 elite athletes from 13 countries around the world selected by the G4S security group in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics, overcame tough Russian Anatoly Borkeev, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. Boholst hacked out a 4-1 win over Scotland’s James Easton, who moved within 2-1 in the second round. Picson was cautiously optimistic of the chances of the four members of the PLDT-Abap national squad going into the semis. “Our main goal here is to have a tough tune-up for the coming Asian Games. I think we’re getting that. If we win a gold medal or four, that would be a welcome bonus,” he said. The trip here is the last leg of the “Road to Asian Games” blueprint designed by Abap president Ricky Vargas and given all-out support by businessman-sportsman Manny Pangilinan, chair of Abap and telecommunications giant PLDT. The long road started with boxoffs in Baguio and Manila, training camps and tournaments in China and the United States and an international tournament in Manila—the MVP Cup.