CAGAYAN DE ORO

Cagayan de Oro boxer fights for SEA Games gold

Appreciative ladies, brandishing the Philippine flags, swarm Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam of Cagayan de Oro right after his semifinal win over former conqueror Muhammad Fuad of Malaysia in the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila. (Lynde Salgados)

MANILA -- The battle has been over yet, Mindanao pride Carlo Paalam of Cagayan de Oro Boxing Program, was finally vindicated against former Malaysian tormentor Mohd Redzuan Muhamad Fuad, who defeated him during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEAG via controversial 5-0 unanimous decision.

On Monday, December 9 at 3 p.m., the 21-year-old Paalam will go for a flat-out win in his bid for a first ever gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games when he takes on Langku Kornelis of Indonesia in the final for the men’s lightweight division at the PICC Forum Tent in Pasay City.

“There’s no doubt about it. Kayang kaya ni Carlo ang Indonesian. We’ll take the gold 100 percent,” guaranteed coach Elmer Pamisa right after the revenge-seeking Paalam pummeled the rugged Fuad en route to a shutout semifinal victory.

Fighting like there’s no tomorrow, Paalam immediately pulled the trigger right from the go and caught Fuad with a right uppercut to the jaw for a standing eight-count.

Cheered by local fans who travelled all the way from hometown Talakag, Bukidnon, Paalam dominated the rest of the way with snapping counter blows to the head and resounding clear shots to the body for a 5-0 finish. The same output when Fuad eliminated the Filipino in semis tiff of the 2017 SEA Games and went on to claim the gold before a partisan Malaysian crowd.

“That he can’t forget sa iyang duha ka tuig nga preparation then with CDO boxing head coach Pamisa kay siya ang clear winner adto nga bout bisan I review pa ilang tape recorded fight ni Fuad. In fairness, maayo sab moaway ang Malaysian dili kakumpyansaan but Paalam was more determined and aggressive this time around,” said Rocky Calingin, sports consultant to Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, who also came here to witness Friday’s memorable slugfest with his wife Connie.

For ending Fuad’s reign, journalists covering the two week-long biennial meet installed Paalam as the hands-down pick to deliver a boxing gold on Monday.

“Break ng boxing ang Saturday. Mora’g naa pay duha ka semis bouts sa Sunday unya finals namo sa Lunes (Monday). Akong hunahuna naa pa gihapon sa among away ni Fuad. Under pressure igo-igo gihapon ko (I also absorbed many punches from him) ana man gyod ang boxing. Pero diskarte lang gyod wala ko naghunahuna og knockout basi sa among gameplan,” the youthful Paalam, son of a farming couple in the outskirt barangay of the mountainous Talakag town, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Paalam’s final opponent Kornelis, is a 5-0 winner over Sao Rangsey of Cambodia.

Also advancing to the finals are Eumir Felix Marcial, 2019 World Boxing Championships silver medalist, and Josie Gabuco, the reigning Asian champion.

Marcial overpowered Che Azmi Mohd Aswan of Malaysia via referee-stop-contest in the first round of their middleweight tussle. While Gabuco bested Thi Diem Kieu of Vietnam, 5-0, in the women’s light flyweight division.

Bantamweights Aira Villegas lost a 3-2 decision over Techasuep Nilawan of Thailand, and Ian Clark Bautista yielded, 3-2 to Butdee Chatchai Decha of Thailand, both in controversial fashion.


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