CHARLY Suarez takes on his toughest assignment to date as he trades leathers with fellow unbeaten former Olympian Paul Fleming on March 17 in Sydney, Australia, with three regional titles on the line.
The 34-year-old Suarez has been impressive in the pro ranks so far. He had a banner year in 2022, wherein he won two regional belts. He started out 2022 with a 12th round technical knockout of Omega Boxing Gym prospect Tomjune Mangubat to win the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super featherweight belt. Suarez kept himself busy with a unanimous decision over Junny Salogaol in an activity fight. He then successfully defended his WBA belt by beating veterans Marjohn Yap and Carlo Magali by unanimous decision. He finished the year with a bang with a second round stoppage of Defry Palulu in Vietnam to win the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) super featherweight strap.
Fleming, on the other hand, fought sparingly in the last five years with just four fights. He outclassed Panya Uthok by unanimous decision in 2018. Fleming didn’t fight in 2019 and returned in late 2020 and fought Bruno Tarimo to a technical draw. He followed it up with a seventh round technical knockout of Tyson Lantry in 2021 before taking a 12-month layoff. Fleming returned in 2022 and defeated Jackson Jack England by unanimous decision to win four regional belts.
The 34-year-old Fleming is currently ranked No. 10 by the WBA and No. 29 by the World Boxing Council (WBC), while Suarez is rated No. 8 by the IBF and No. 32 by the WBC.
Suarez is 14-0 with eight knockouts, while Fleming is 28-0-1 with 18 knockouts.
Both Suarez and Fleming competed in the Olympic Games.
Fleming competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and lost to eventual silver medalist Khedafi Djelkhir in the first round of the featherweight division. He immediately turned pro after the loss.
Suarez, in the meantime, was in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also bowed out in the first round after losing to Joe Cordina.
January 19, 2023
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