VETERAN Charly Suarez lived up to his top-seeded billing as he fashioned out a unanimous-decision win over Indian Dheeraj Rani in the Asian-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Event on Tuesday at the massive Tangshan Jiujiang Sports Center in Qian’An, Hebei Province, China.
The 28-year-old Suarez thus advanced to the semifinals, where he will need just a victory more to clinch a berth to the Rio Olympic Games in August.
“Suarez is technically superior and strength-wise, has got it,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson.
The top three boxers in the men’s division and the top two in the women’s class will book a ticket each to the Summer Olympiad.
Meanwhile, Nesthy Petecio was not as lucky, as she fell to five-time world champion Mary Kom of India in a game Picson thought the Filipina boxer won.
Other Filipino boxers were slated to face different foes late Tuesday.
One of them is Mario Fernandez, who may not have a power punch, but is a sound tactician and should be able to overcome his Jordanian opponent, who Picson saw in action on Monday.
“He’s (Jordanian) not much, an average fighter who is not in the same class as Fernandez,” said Picson.
A back-to-back SEA Games gold medalist, Fernandez proved too much for Yakub Meredov of Turkmenistan, jolting him several times with left-right combinations to score a 30-27 sweep on the scorecards of all three judges on Monday.
Rogen Ladon, a bronze medalist in the World Championships in Doha last year, was somewhat disappointing in his last fight against his Japanese opponent Tosho Kashiwasaki and allowed the Japanese to set the tempo before eking out a 29-28 decision on the scorecards of two judges and a lopsided 30-27 on the third judge’s tally.
Ladon, who is seeded No. 1 in the light flyweight division, was instructed to “not take his Iraqi opponent lightly and not to get it into his head that he is a pushover. Bring the fight to him and bludgeon him.”
Lastly, power-punching No. 1 welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial was to face Iran’s Kazemzadehposhtiri and is likely to prevail following his TKO win over Australia’s Kori Istafanos, whom he hammered into submission in the third and last round when Hungarian lady referee Veronika Szuchs gave the Aussie two standing-eight counts as he was in trouble and stopped the fight after the second standing-eight count.