Vindication: Saludar beats 2011 Kazakh tormentor

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


ASIAN Games 2010 men's flyweight champion Rey Saludar avenged his 2011 loss by beating London Olympian Ilyas Suleimenov of Kazakhstan via split decision in their semi-finals encounter Saturday in the 4th President's Cup at the Baluak Sholan Palace of Culture and Sports.

Amateur Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) executive director Ed Picson, in an e-mailed statement to Sun.Star Davao Saturday night, said Saludar drew on his power attacks to edge out the Kazakh fighter "by the slimmest of margins, 29-28, 29-28 and 28-29".

Picson said,"National coaches Nolito Velasco and Elmer Pamisa instructed the 26-year-old Army man to deliver double left straights which found their mark and which Suleimenov was unable to parry or counter."

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Picson said Saludar complained "of wayward elbows and headbutts but he was admonished by the coaches to just keep his focus on the fight."

It can be recalled that Suleimenov foiled Saludar's Olympic's hopes when he beat the latter in the flyweight semis of the 2011 Asian Men's Elite Boxing Championships in South Korea.

Saludar, in a Facebook chat, said: "Lipay kaayo ko kay nakaabot ko sa final. Gigamit nako akong wala nga kamot na makasumbag sa iyaha ug straight kay mao man ingon sa akong coach (I'm so happy that I made it to the finals. I used my left to punch straights because that's what my coaches told me)."

Saludar, on his Facebook status, thanked his family, coaches, PLDT-Abap management and those who prayed for his success.

He was set to face Uzbekistan's Shahobiddin Zoirov,who moved up to the flyweight class from light-flyweight, as of yesterday presstime.
Picson said Zoirov "had fought Filipino London Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga twice, losing to the Panabo, Davao del Norte native both times."
Saludar, however, said, "Andam nako (I'm ready!)."

Charly Suarez, who is from Sawata, Davao del Norte, was pitted against 30-year-old reigning Asian champion Berik Abdrahmanove of Kazakhstan in the lightweight gold medal bout set as of this writing.

Picson said Abap president Ricky Vargas texted him, congratulating the team of its "ultimate goal which is to win in the Asian Games and then qualify for the 2016 Olympics. Stay focus and learn as much as you can."

Meanwhile, Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte manager Gene Rose Tecson was elated by the entry of Saludar and Suarez in the finals. "Two of our own Barangay Una boxers - Charly Suarez and Rey Saludar - are the last two Filipino boxers for the gold in their respective weight divisions. Please pray for their success! Banat Charly & Rey!," Tecson posted on her Facebook status Saturday.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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