Photo from Asian Games media pool
MANILA, Philippines – Carlo Paalam bids farewell to the 2018 Asian Games after a spilt decision loss against Indian boxer Amit Panghal, 3-2, in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday, August 31.
The 20-year-old Paalam was a picture of disappointment as the stadium barker announced the close victory for Amit, sending the handful Indian supporters to celebration while silencing the Filipino fans, athletes and officials who expected a second Filipino through the boxing finals.
“Binigay ko na lahat, pero binigay ng mga judges sa India,” a teary-eyed Paalam told reporters immediately after the light flyweight semifinal. “Wala akong magagawa, wala akong control sa mga judges.”
(I gave my all but the judges gave it to India. I can't do anything about it, I have no control over the judges.)
Chinese judge Guo Zhang and Japanese Katsunori Hanabusa each scored the bout 29-28 for Paalam. But Amit got the nod form Uzbekistan’s Bekjon Yusupov (29-28) and Algeria’s Athmane Lazizi (29-28), with Indonesia’s Hermanto Ginting Bagusmunthe giving the Indian an overwhelming 30-27 score.
“Thank you sa God, hindi talaga para sa akin,”Paalam said. “Masakit man sa dibdib, meron mga trials.”
(I still thank God even if the win wasn't for me. It hurts, but trials happen.)
Paalam went to work early with his combinations and hurt the 22-year-old Indian with a right cross late in the first round.
Amit managed to change tactics and looked the more aggressive boxer in the second round.
The third round had Paalam again on the attacking end, forcing Amit to cling on several occasions to avert any solid connection from the Filipino.
In the end, Paalam again was thankful he was up on his feet as he left the ring disappointed.
“Thank you sa God at walang nangyari sa akin sa ring,” he said, adding “binigay ko talaga ang lahat ko dahil sa tiwala ng mga coaches ko at tiwala ng bayan na magkaka-gold medal ako.”
(Thank God that nothing happened to me inside the ring. I gave my all because my coaches and the country trusted that I could deliver a gold medal.)
Paalam, the youngest in the Philippine boxing delegation, was hoping to be the second Pinoy boxer of the day to get a shot at the gold-medal round.
His compatriot Rogen Ladon made quick work of Thailand’s Yuttapong Tongdee with a unanimous decision victory earlier in the flyweight semis.
Paalam earned an assured bronze by dominating Kazakh boxer Temirtas Zhussupov last Wednesday, August 29. – with a report from the Asian Games media pool