By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
It was an action-packed six days of competition for boxing in the South East Asian (SEA) Games held in the Philippines. The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) was the venue for the fights which culminated Monday with gold medals up for grabs for both men and women.
As expected, rivals Thailand and the Philippines once again clashed for regional supremacy. The gold medal tally was tied 5 each going into the last two bouts. However, Thailand had no more finals entries while the Philippines had their two top guns, AIBA 2019 World Women’s featherweight gold medalist Nesthy Petecio and AIBA 2019 World Men’s middleweight silver medal-winner Eumir Marcial fighting in the last two bouts.
Petecio put the host country over the top with an emphatic 5-0 decision win over Maynmar’s NwE Ni Oo. This was actually Petecio’s first gold in SEA games competition. She came up short many times and even lost to the same Myanmar fighter in the 2013 finals. This time with the crowd behind her, she left no doubt about her superiority.
Marcial closed the show in style with a first round RSC win over Vietnam’s Nguyen Mạnh Cuong. Marcial showed bad intentions and rocked the Vietnamese for a standing eight count. Another volley dropped Nguyen to his knees and the referee mercifully stopped the carnage.
Marcial entered the finals by stopping his Malaysian opponent Mohd Aswan Che Azmi also in round one (RSC-outclassed).
There were a lot of interesting back stories throughout the competition. The defending gold medalist in the Light Heavyweight category, John Marvin, was shocked by Vietnamese Troung Dinh Huang in his opening match.
Marvin got caught in the jaw and was sent down in round one. He got up and tried to fight his way back but lost in a split decision.
Troung would reach the finals but lost to Thailand’s Anavat Thongkrathok.
The Philippines’ first boxing gold was courtesy of Carlo Paalam, who was out for redemption after being the only Filipino who did not win a medal in the 2017 edition of the games. He got revenge against the boxer who eliminated him two years ago in the semi-finals by scoring a unanimous decision win over Malaysia’s Muhamad Redzuan, 5-0, in an intense fight.
In the finals, Paalam squared off against Indonesian KK Langu in a fiery brawl. Paalam once again got the nod of all five judges,5-0.
Flyweight Rogen Ladon used lateral movement and accurate shots to beat the rough Thai Ammarit Yaodam for another gold for the Philippines.
The Thailand boxer who impressed the most was Chatchai-decha Butdee, the gold medalist in the men’s bantamweight category. Butdee won a bronze in the 2013 AIBA World championships. He showed his class against Vietnamese Nguyen Van Duong in the finals. In the semis, Butdee beat Filipino Ian Clark Bautista by unanimous verdict.
Vietnam won a gold in the women’s flyweight; Nguyen Thi Tam was too tall and accurate for Irish Magno of the Philippines. Magno made waves in the semi-finals by beating Thai Jutamas Jitpong, who as a pro beat Casey Morton of Hawaii for a WBO Asia Pacific title in China.
In the women’s bantamweight finals, Thailand’s Nilawan Techasuep prevailed over Do Nha Uyen of Vietnam. Thailand got another women’s gold in the lightweight category when Sudaporn Seesondee beat Filipina Riza Pasuit by decision 4-1.
Another Thai gold in the men’s section was courtesy of welterweight Wuttichai Masuk, who handily beat Marjon Piañar of the Philippines with all five judges scoring a shutout.
Josie Gabuco, the 2012 AIBA World Women’s Gold medalist in the light flyweight category, had a harder time than expected against Indonesia’s Endang. Gabuco still triumphed on all five judges’ cards.
In her first match, the now 32 year old Gabuco beat Thailand’s Raksat Chuthailandmat, 4-1. Raksat defeated Gabuco on a third round stoppage at the 2014 China Open.
Gabuco also won a gold for the Philippines at Asian Championships in Bangkok this year.
Another eye catching name on the men’s side is James Palicte, younger brother of two-time world title challenger Aston Palicte. James campaigned as a light welterweight and beat Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Hai for the gold in his first SEA Games.
Filipino veteran Charly Suarez came back from the pros and beat the brawling Thai Khunatip Pidnuch 5-0 for the Lightweight gold medal. The Thai was rocked and given a standing eight count in the second round. Suarez previously overpowered foes from Myanmar and Vietnam showing his superiority in experience.
In summary, host Philippines got 7 golds, 3 silvers and 1 bronze. Thailand had 5 golds, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes. Vietnam was the only other country with a boxing gold with 1 together with 5 silvers and 2 bronze medals.
Photo – SEA GAMES Middleweight gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial
Last week former world champion Katsunari Takayama [高山 勝成] announced his first amateur bout would be taking place on March 1st at the Japanese selection tournament for the 2019 Asian Championships. That has now been cancelled, with the JABF (Japanese Amateur Boxing Federation) releasing a statement on their official blog.
The translated statement can be read in full below, though it doesn't do a great job of explaining why they have cancelled their event, though it seems to revolve around the ASBC tournament featuring 10 divisions in both the male and female competitions, rather than just the ones set for the Olympics, which was still unclear. What could be a problem here is things being lost in translation.
From the Asian Boxing Federary in January, there was a notice to be held in Bangkok, Thailand, in organizing the Asian Championships.
Over the last week or so fight fans in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, have had the chance to see the Uzbek national championships, which have been held at the Olympic Reserve Sport Complex.
The competition has seen 8 weight classes being competed in with a number of very notable amateur fighters competing in the tournament, including Olympic and World Amateur champions.
Sadly the final saw a number of walk overs.
The lowest weight category was the 52KG division and was won by 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Hasanbay Dusmatov, who over-came youngster Khudoynazar Fayzov. The talented Dusmatov impressed in the Olympics and there has been a lot of hope of him signing professional, though the fighter is yet to make it clear, publicly that professional boxing is something he's pushing for.
At 57KG's the winner was Andulkhay Shorakhmatov, who had a walk over win against Otabek Kholmatov in the final. Shorakhmatov had been fantastic through the tournament and continues his good form in the competition, having won the competition a number of times before.
We saw another walk over at 63KG's as Aliyar Noraliev took the crown, with Shunkor Abdurasulov not getting into the ring to fight for the championship.
Thankfully action resumed up at 69KG Bobo-Usmon Boturov upset the highly touted Ikboljon Kholdarov, who was strongly favoured. This was scored 3:2 in favour of Boturov who will know how big this win really is, and what a surprise it was.
Fanat Kakhramonov managed to claim the 75KG crown with a victory over Odil Aslonov. Kakhramonov won a 4:1 decision here to take the title. Neither man had looked bad on their way to the final, though in the end it was a clear win for Kakhramonov.
Another 4:1 victory saw Khurshid Abdullayev take the 81KG crown, over-coming Dilshod Ruzmetov.
Ikboljon Kholdarov's final loss in the 69KG bout wasn't the only major upset, as 2016 Olympic Bronze medal winner Rustam Tulaganov was shocked by Madiyar Saidrakhimov, in what was a clear win for Saidrakhimov in the 91KG division. It's worth noting Tulaganov has made his professional debut, doing so last year, and this loss may well push him back towards the professional ranks.
At Super Heavyweight Ulugbek Mubinov defeated Obidzhon Tokhirov to end the competition.
Earlier today fans were able to see the 88th All Japan National Championships, with 8 national champions being crowned in what was an incredible show of high level amateur boxing. For fans at the venue the show was brilliant, whilst those watching on TV, courtesy of NHKBS1 got guest analyst work from WBA "Regular" Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue.
The lowest weight on the show was the Light Flyweight division, which saw Yudai Shigeoka [重岡優大], the older brother of touted professional prospect Ginjiro Shigeoka, take a 5-0 decisions over Daichi Hasebe [長谷部大地]. The bout was a high skilled, fast paced contest that really kicked the show off in an amazing fashion.
The Flyweight bout was another amazing contest, which saw Tosho Kashiwazaki [柏崎刀翔] taking a 4-1 decision over Ryomei Tanaka [田中亮明], the older brother of 3-weight world champion Kosei Tanaka. This was was tightly fought, but Kashiwazaki always looked like the aggressor, and it seems like that extra offensive mentality was the difference between the two men.
At Bantamweight 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medal winner Subaru Murata [村田昴] over-come Keisuke Matsumoto [松本圭佑], the son of former world title challenger Koji Matsumoto. Murata was cut around both eyes but took the decision win, thanks in part to an amazing effort in the final round, where he really put Matsumoto on the back foot to claim a 3-0 win.
The Lightweight bout saw 2016 Olympian Arashi Morisaka [森坂嵐] narrowly over-come Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] in a 3-2 decision. This was a messy bout at time, with the styles not quite gelling as the earlier bouts, but was very competitive and hard to take your eyes off as both men did all they could to try and take the win.
In the Light Welterweight final we saw the highly established Daisuke Narimatsu [成松大介] claim his latest title as he defeated Yuta Akiyama [秋山佑汰]. This was Narimatsu's 8th All Japanese title, and it seems like his intention is to go to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. If boxing is however removed from the Olympics we could imagine promoters scrambling over each other to become his professional promoter.
The Welterweight crown was won by Sewon Okazawa [岡澤セオン], who took a 5-0 decision over Kanjo Taiyo [金城大明], in what was an another entertaining contest with Okazawa making his claim to be pushed towards some notable international competitions, potentially including the Olympics.
At Middleweight Yuito Moriwaki [森脇唯人] continued his great run on the domestic scene, as he defeated Kyohei Hosono [細野恭兵] 5-0. This win saw Moriwaki retain the title he won last year, and claim the MVP award for the show, as he continues to thrive and really make his mark.
The heaviest weight class on the show as the Light Heavyweight division, which saw Takuro Kurita [栗田琢郎] take a 3-2 win over Takahito Nitta [新田隆人] to take the crown.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Earlier today fans in Sofia saw the finals of the Youth World Championships. The competition, which has been going on for 10 days came to a conclusion in exciting fashion which may well have seen the emergence of some top prospects from around the world.
The first final was in the 49KG division where we had an all Asian final as Shalkar Aykynbay (Kazakhstan) faced Suleyman Latipov (Uzbekistan). The bout finished relatively one sided with the Kazakh winning a 3:0 decision over Latipov. Interestingly this was the third successive bout where Aykynbay defeated an Asian with victories over Subaru Murata (Japan) in the quarter final and Shyam Kumar Kakara (India) in his semi final.
At 52KG we had no direct interest but the final saw Shakur Stevenson (USA) defeat Muhammad Ali (England) 3:0. Both of the finalists had beaten Asian fighters in the semi finals so Asian's took both bronze medals though they'd have both loved the chance to have fought for gold here.
In the 56KG division we saw disappointment for an Asian fighter as the very talented Javier Ibanez (Cuba) defeated Sultan Zaurbek (Kazakhstan) with a score of 3:0. Perhaps surprisingly Ibanez was one of just two Cubans to reach the final.
At 60KG Abylaykhan Zhusupov (Kazakhstan) claimed his nation's second gold medal as he defeated Arsen Mustafa (Romania) with a 3:0 victory.
In the 64KG division we got the coming to forced of political opponents as Bibert Tumenov (Russian) fought Viktor Petrov (Ukraine). It was the Russian who took home gold courtesy of a 3:0 victory.
Up at 69KG's we saw Asia take another gold medal with Bektemir Melikuziyev (Uzbekistan) taking a 3:0 victory over Luka Prtenjaca (Croatia). This was Uzbekistan's only gold medal.
Croatia had it's second silver medal winner as Luka Plantic (Croatia) dropped a 3:0 decision to Dmitriy Nesterov (Russia) in the 75KG division.
In the 81KG division home hero Blagoy Naydenov (Bulgaria) claimed his nation's only gold medal as he defeated Vadim Kazakov (Kazakhstan) 3:0.
In the Heavyweight division, 91KG's, the gold medal went to Yordan Hernandez (Cuba) who, like many of the others who got to the final, took a 3:0 decision to clam his gold. Hernandez defeated Toni Filipi (Croatia) to claim his medal.
The highest division, the Super Heavyweight division, saw the most competitive bout as Darmani Rock (USA) took a 2:1 decision to claim the USA's second gold medal. Rock defeated Peter Kadiru (Germany) to claim his medal.
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