Paalam yields to taller Uzbek world champ in Asaid


HANGZHOU—Carlo Paalam yielded to a taller and more calculated opponent from Uzbekistan in the men’s 57-kg quarterfinals of boxing on Tuesday night, leaving Eumir Felix Marcial as the remaining gold medal hopeful for Team Philippines in the 19th Asian Games.

“I fought a good fight, we both did,” said Paalam after losing, 5-0, to Abdumalik Khalokov, who won the featherweight gold medal at home in Tashkent in the world championships last April. “I have no regrets, I did my best in this fight.”

With Paalam out, that leaves his fellow Tokyo Olympiam Eumir Felix Marcial to carry the fight for a second gold medal not only for boxing but for Team Philippines.

Marcial fights Syrian brawler faces Ahmad Ghousoon in at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday also at the Hangzhou Gymnasium hoping to secure not only a guaranteed silver medal in the games but a return ticket to the Olympics in Paris in 2024.

That was what Paalam also aimed for—a return to the Olympics where he dreams of transforming his silver from Tokyo 2020 to gold in Paris 2024.

It’s not all lost for Paalam as he still has a chance for an Olympic slot at the world championships in Italy in February.

“I’ll make it up for this loss the next time,” said the 25-year-old Paalam, who bagged silver as a flyweight in Tokyo but has since moved to featherweight for his Paris bid.

“I’ve been polished in this weight class, I have beaten world champions here,” he said. “But like me, they’re all boxing intelligently and have sharpened their skills.”

Paalam advanced to the quarterfinals with victories over Munarbek Seeitbek Uulu, 5-0, of Kazahkstan and Nguyen Van Duong, also 5-0, of Vietnam. Paalam, five inches shorter than the Uzbek at 5-foot-4, had to employ an inside game to avert his opponent’s longer reach—which he utilized to the hilt with occasional ring antics.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes

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