In Kazakhstan: Saludar, Suarez open bid for PH-A A +A
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
FORMER Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte mainstays Rey Saludar and Charly Suarez were set to open bid for Team Philippines as the President's Cup 4th International Boxing Tournament at the Palace of Sports in Almaty, Kazakhstan as of yesterday presstime.
The ex-Asian Games gold medalist, a native of Polomolok, South Cotabato, was pitted against a Kazakhstan boxer in men's flyweight category while two-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games gold medalist Suarez was set to climb the ring against an Iraq entry in men's lightweight.
Saludar said he's playing the Kazakh for the first time.
Suarez, in a separate Facebook chat conversation before his 6 p.m. (Philippines time) fight yesterday, said it will also be his first encounter with the Iraqi boxer.
"Basta ingon lang ni coach sa amoa nga (Coach just told us to) focus muna sa unang kalaban bago ang susunod," Suarez said.
He said host Kazakhstan has three teams in the tournament that brought together the best boxers in the world including Olympic champions as well as champions in the Asian Games and European and Asian championships.
The 26-year-old Suarez, who hails from Sawata in Davao del Norte, said, "Daghan kayo mga taga Kazakhstan diri (There are too many Kazakhstan boxers here)," he said.
The four-member Team Philippines is also bannered by welterweight Dennis Galvan and light flyweight Rogen Ladon.
Over 100 boxers from 12 countries are entered in the six-day event including Azerbaijan, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Suarez earlier said Cuba, Russia and Kazakhstan boxers will be tough opponents.
Philippines coach Boy Velasco earlier said he won't predict the gold medal haul of the team, saying that the nationals are expected to give their best performance in the tournament. He also cited that all other participants are the best boxers of their respective countries, thus, they can't be complacent.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 09, 2014.