Saludar, Suarez beat first round opponents

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


PHILIPPINES's two seasoned boxers Rey Saludar and Charly Suarez scored similar unanimous decision wins to open the four-member PLDT-Abap's bid in the 4th Kazakhstan President's Cup International Boxing Tournament at the Baluan Sholak Sports Palace in the country's former capital city, Almaty.

The 26-year-old Saludar, a former Asian Games gold medalist from Polomolok, South Cotabato, beat Kazakhstan rival Kurmetov, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, in their men's flyweight bout while Sawata, Davao del Norte native Suarez, also 26, subdued his Iraqi opponent Ammar, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, in men's lightweight event.

Saludar, a product of Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte before joining the national team, said he had a hard time with the Kurmetov, saying, "Naglisod sad ko. Power sad manumbag. Pero gihuna-huna nako nga mudaug ko samtang galaban mi (I had a difficult time `coz he had a power punch but I just thought of winning while we were fighting)."

Saludar will next clash against Jorge of Cuba today. Filipino Rogen Ladon, who drew a first round bye, makes his debut today against Kazakh Erjan in men's light flyweight.

Two-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Suarez, sidelined for 18 months due to injuries during his Milano Thunder stint for Italy in the World Series of Boxing, in a Facebook conversation, said: "Maayo man ang mga taga Iraq kay diri man sila sa Kazakhstan ga training kay ilahang coach karon ang dating head coach sa Kazakhstan (The Iraqi boxers are good since they are training here with the former Kazakhstan head coach)."

Suarez also said, "Akoang gihuna-huna buhaton nako ang akoang best para mudaog ug syempre trust sa atoang Ginoo, ang akong gisaligan. Naay kulba kanang dala excited (I thought of just doing my best to win and trust God whom I'm relying on. I was nervous and excited at the same time)."

Suarez was set to climb the ring against Kazakhstan's Jumsakbaev in the quarter-final round as of yesterday presstime. His compatriot Dennis Galvan was pitted against Chinzorig of Mongolia in the men's welterweight class.

"Wala pako kakita sa akong sunod makalaban pero ingon ni coach buhaton lang nako ang tanan ug dili magkumpyansa (I haven't met my next opponent yet but coach said I need to give my best and not to be complacent)," Suarez added.

The President's Cup, according to Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson, is part of the final selection process for the Asian Games in September.

"Another team of boxers is slated to fly to Guiyang, China on Sunday, July 13 for the equally strong China Open," team manager Picson said in a statement furnished to Sun.Star Davao yesterday.

The Filipinos are coached by Nolito "Boy" Velasco and Elmer Pamisa.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 10, 2014.

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