GOING FOR OLYMPIC GOLD

Boxer Paalam to Pinoys: I’ll do my best, pray for me

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | August 06,2021 - 06:01 PM
BOXER PAALAM TO GO FOR GOLD, Carlo Paalam | AFP Photo via Inquirer

Carlo Paalam | AFP Photo via Inquirer

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The country’s gold medal bet Carlo Paalam asks fellow Filipinos to pray for him as he fights British Galal Yafai in the men’s flyweight boxing finals of the Tokyo Olympics tomorrow, August 7 at the Kokugikan Arena.

Their bout will be aired at 1PM (Manila time). Paalam assured himself of a silver medal after defeating hometown fighter Ryomie Tanaka via a lopsided unanimous decision victory on Thursday in the semifinal round. 

“Hinihiling ko lang po sa kapwa ko Pilipino na ipagdasal ako. Gagawin ko ang best ko, kasi hindi ko naman hawak ‘yung desisyon, tsaka ‘yung kalaban ko kasi magaling din. Tiwala lang sa sarili. Sana ibigay na sa atin ng Panginoon,” Paalam said in a statement from PSC.

(I am appealing to my fellow Filipinos to pray for me. I will do my best because I don’t have the decision yet and my opponent is also a good fighter. I just believe in myself. And that God will grant me this win.)

Paalam will face Great Britain’s reigning “Best Boxer” awardee and the 2018 Golden Belt Champion in Yafai who has a Yemeni-British ethnicity. 

The 23-year-old Paalam guaranteed the Philippines its third medal in the boxing event after Nesthy Petecio bagged the silver medal in the women’s featherweight division while Eumir Marcial earned a bronze medal in the men’s middleweight division. 

Paalam shocked the Olympics boxing competition after defeating heavily-favored opponents. He defeated Irish Brendan Irvine in his first bout and won against Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi. 

He then proceeded to stage a huge upset by defeating the division’s reigning gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan, and triumphed over Tanaka in the semifinals. 

The 28-year old Yafai is two inches shorter than Paalam at 5-foot-2, compared to the latter’s 5-foot-4 height. Paalam’s stance is orthodox while Yafai is southpaw. 

Paalam, a native of Talakag, Bukidnon, has a more experienced amateur record of 42 wins with 11 losses compared to Yafai’s 32-11 (win-loss) record.

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TAGS: 2018 Golden Belt champion, Britain's reigning "Best Boxer", Carlo Paalam, flyweight boxing finals, Galal Yafai, Tokyo Olympics

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