Carlos Paalam joins the boxing party as he assured the Philippines of another bronze medal when he upset top ranked Shakhobidin Zoirov in the quarterfinals of men’s flyweight at the Kokugikan Arena in the Tokyo Olympics today, August 3.
Paalam’s fight with the erstwhile defending Olympics flyweight champion ended with one minute and 16 seconds of round 2 with the University of Baguio student leading in almost all cards and ended up with 20-18 counts on four of the judges and tied in one.
UB personnel watching at the UB audio visual room jumped in celebration after Paalam was declared the winner in the supposed three rounds bout which was stopped when the fighters banged their heads against each other which resulted in a cut on the top ranked boxer prompting the ringside doctor to stop the match.
“We are not just happy but it sends goosebumps,” said UB athletic director Alan Elegado, who said Paalam as well as Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio have taken a leave of absence.
“Very happy indeed,” cried former national coach Glicerio Catolico, who also coached the Vietnam Boxing team in the last Southeast Asian Games.
Paalam is now assured of a bronze medal as he faces Ryomei Tanaka who defeated Columbian Yuberjan Herney Martinez Rivas in the earlier match, 4-1.
UB personnel are eagerly awaiting the match of Nesthy Petecio as she faces Japanese Sena Irie, their fourth face-off,
Earlier, former mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. said the four boxers including Eumir Felix Marcial, who was last enrolled at UB in 2015, are assured of getting PhP250,000 each from Naktaynay, the family owned company which he is president of.
Bautista, the northern Luzon head of Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, who paved way for giving scholarship in their family-owned UB in 2011, said that no matter the color of the boxers medal or whether they won or not, all the four will receive the same amount from the PhP 1 million he said will be made available.
“Joining the Olympics is more than enough. They worked hard for it and they deserve it,” the former city mayor added.
Petecio by getting to the finals is assured some PhP17 million, while the city of Baguio may also give the scrappy Davao born fighter PhP400,000 for an Olympics silver, the highest it will ever give to an athlete.
Petecio was given PhP30,000 last January 11 with her gold medal in the 2019 SEAG held in Manila. It was the same amount that Paalam got, while Magno and Aira Villegas received PhP20,000 and PhP10,000, respectively, in cognizant of their status as city recognized athletes.
“We still have to coordinate with her hometown,” said councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, who will file the resolution recognizing her Olympic feat that may now include Paalam.