And another Filipino boxer has a shot to win a gold medal for the country! Following his huge upset over the reigning Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the men’s flyweight quarterfinal, Carlos Paalam decisively defeated Japanese bet Japanese Ryomei Tanaka. This means he’s one win away from bagging a gold medal for the Philippines!
As per Rappler.com, Paalam earned a unanimous decision win over the Japanese Tanaka, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, to advance to the men’s flyweight final round. The 23 year old pug displayed poise throughout the match. He attacked at the right time and showed impressive defense. His game plan proved successful, and he showed his Japanese foe a masterclass performance.
“I’m asking for prayers again from my fellow Filipinos. I will do my best because my opponent is really strong. I just have to trust myself and I hope the Lord gives it to us,” Paalam said, as per Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Paalam’s journey to this matchup was anything but easy. Before his quarterfinal win, Paalam had an uphill journey throughout his whole Tokyo Olympics campaign, facing two-time Olympian Brendan Irvine of Ireland and another veteran Olympian in Mohamed Flissi of Alegeria in the earlier bouts.
The Cagayan de Oro native is set to face Great Britain’s Galal Yafai on Saturday, August 7, at 1 pm, Philippine time for a chance to win the country’s first ever boxing gold medal, and also a second gold after weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz’s historic feat. Even if he falls short of the win in the finals matchup, he would join fellow boxer Nesthy Petecio who bagged a silver medal for the country.
Will Paalam win another gold medal for the Philippines? We’ll have to wait to find out. Whatever the end result is, Paalam has already made his nation proud.