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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Suarez faces toughest test yet in unbeaten Aussie foe

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Former Olympian Charly Suarez has vowed to go all out against fellow undefeated Paul Fleming of Australia in their International Boxing Organization super featherweight title bout on Wednesday in Sydney, Australia.

“Pambihira lang itong ganitong pagkakataon. Ito na talaga chance ko,” said Suarez, who at 34 cannot afford to be delayed any longer in his quest for a world boxing title. “Ang totoo kong kalaban is sarili ko. Kahit saang larangan, malaking part ‘yung maturity. Iba ka nang mag-isip kaysa dati.”

“Basta ako lalaban ako at dapat makuha ko ito. Ito na ‘yung level ng mindset ko ngayon. ‘Di ko na pakakawalan, wala ng excuse,” added Suarez, a former Filipino Olympian, who spent most of his boxing career as a national athlete.

Charly Suarez (second from left) is shown with friends and supporters, including businessman-philanthropist Edward Aguilar and former Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas before before leaving for Australia.

After beating all his first 14 opponents, eight of them via stoppage, Suarez is facing his toughest test in his two-year professional boxing career—a taller foe, who has 29 wins with 18 knockouts and without a defeat.

Suarez’s manager and coach Delfin Boholst said they have done everything in their training camp to make Charly stronger than ever.

“Makikita natin si Charly may edad na pero, ‘yung body niya sariwa. Sa laban makikita niyo talaga ‘yung ginawa namin na preparation ni Charly,” he said.

Without the backing of a moneyed manager and promoter, Suarez’s camp turned to friends and supporters for their needs. Some of those who answered their plea for support were former Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas and businessman-philanthropist Edward Aguilar.

Sinas and Aguilar, who are close friends and partners in several business ventures, provided financial support for training and other needs of Suarez.

Suarez is coming off a big conquest of the International Boxing Federation Asia junior lightweight title with a technical knockout win over Defry Palulu of Indonesia at the Grand Ho Tram Hotel in Vietnam last Dec. 10.

Two months earlier, the many-time Southeast Asian Games champion decisioned compatriot Carlo Magali to successfully defend the World Boxing Association Asia Super Featherweight title.

As an amateur, Suarez won three Southeast Asian Games golds—two in the lightweight division (2011 Jakarta, 2019 Manila) and one in the featherweight category (2009 Laos)—plus a bronze in 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, the left-handed Fleming said he won’t be underestimating Suarez as he has set a fight strategy that suits him against a smaller opponent.

“If Suarez comes at me, I have a counter-punching strategy, and if he stays away then I will come at him,” the Australian said.

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