By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
In the last part of this mini-series we take a look at 5 more notable amateurs from the Asian continent who have achieved success for their respective nations.
Erdenbaat Tsendbaatar, Mongolia, bantamweight (56kg).
For a country with a population of around just 3 million, Mongolia regularly more than holds its own at major tournaments and produces excellent fighters who fight with pride, skill and determination. The country’s young boxing star is undoubtedly Tsendbaatar who enjoyed a golden 2018, triumphing at the Asian Games in Indonesia. Now campaigning at lightweight, Tsendbaatar reached the last 8 of the Rio Olympics, going out to eventual silver medallist Shakur Stevenson down at bantamweight.
The 21-year-old has ruled the roost at home, claiming 4 national titles and also a Bronze at the 2014 Asian Youth Championships. Tsendbaatar will be one of the favourites for the upcoming Asian Championships in Thailand and if boxing does take place at the Tokyo Olympics then he’s more than in the frame for a medal. You can view Tsendbaatar’s winning effort at the 2018 Asian Games below.
Chinzorig Battarsukh, Mongolia, light welterweight (64kg).
Battarsukh possesses copious amounts of experience but has been a bit of a nearly man and has lost a number of very close decisions. The 27-year-old is a 5-time national champion and after reaching the quarter-finals of the 2014 Asian Games, he managed to reach the podium 4 years later taking Silver.
Battarsukh grabbed silver at the 2017 Asian Championships in Tashkent but was highly unlucky to lose to home man Ikboljon Kholdarov in the final and later on that year he narrowly missed out on a world championship medal, losing in the last 8. Battarsukh is a tough out for anyone in his division apart from probably the formidable Cuban Andy Cruz and with a little bit of luck an Olympic medal isn’t out of the question. Battarsukh’s contest in the 2018 Asian Games final can be seen below
Carlo Paalam, Philippines, light flyweight (49kg).
Despite the limited resources at their disposal the Philippines isn’t lacking in talented pugilists with Paalam being one of a number of gifted Pinoys in the amateur ranks. A successful stint at youth level saw him take Bronze at both the Asian and world Championships in 2016. He was on the wrong end of an awful hometown decision in the quarter-finals at the 2017 South East Asian Games in Malaysia but bounced back to take Bronze at the 2018 Asian Games, losing to gold medallist Amit in the semi-final.
Paalam is still young therefore, there is plenty of room for growth and he is defitely capable of achieving success at future events. Some footage of Paalam sparring can be viewed below.
Christian Pitt Laurente, Philippines (56kg).
Laurente is yet to make his senior debut at a major tournament but the future looks bright for him judging by his performances at youth level. His first success came at the South East Asian Youth Games in 2017 as he took lightweight Bronze, being defeated by top operator Atichai Phoemsap. A move down to bantamweight saw him win silver followed by Bronze and the Asian and world Youth Championships respectively with elite Uzbek Abdumalik Khalokov victorious over him on both occasions. Laurente is clearly one for the future and you can watch him in action versus Khalokov
Kim Ink-Yu, South Korea, flyweight (52kg).
Korean boxing both sides of the border has been in the doldrums for well over a decade but there have been small signs of recovery especially in the amateur ranks in recent times. The most consistent performer has been South Korea’s Kim Ink-yu who came away from the 2017 world Championships with Bronze after winning silver at the Asian equivalent earlier on in the year. The world Bronze bettered his quarter-final appearance in the previous edition and he is capable of being in the mix for medals in future major competitions. Below is a bout involving Kim up against Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov.
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features