Carlo Paalam is now assured of a bronze medal after beating Uzbekistani boxer Shakhobidin Zoirov on Tuesday, August 3, at the Kokugikan Arena.
Paalam won via split decision against the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist after the referee stopped the match with 1:44 left in the second when both fighters sustained cuts after an accidental headbutt. Paalam emerged the winner after judges scored the first match in his favor.
Paalam has now booked his semifinals ticket after he scored more points against Zoirov in the first round with his counter-punching style.
In an interview with One Sports, Paalam said he sustained an accidental headbutt in the second round but he was able to power through until the end of the match.
“Nagkasalungat kami (ni Shakhobidin Zoirov) kasi mabilis din siya, pero matigas pa rin ang ulo ko. Magaling talaga siya at mabilis din (pero) nautakan ko rin talaga siya. Ganoon talaga, talino at tiwala sa sarili at tsaka sa Panginoon,” he added.
In a tweet posted two days before the quarterfinals, Paalam sought prayers before his match.
Pray for me mga kababayan ??— Carlo Paalam (@paalam_carlo) August 1, 2021
Paalam is set to compete against Kosei Tanaka of Japan on Thursday, August 5.
Last Saturday, July 31, Paalam secured a spot in the men’s flyweight division after defeating Algeria's Mohamed Flissi via unanimous decision.
Paalam bagged a gold medal in the 30th SEA Games light flyweight division, and has ranked 12 in the men’s flyweight division at the Amateur International Boxing Association rankings.
We’re proud of you, Carlo!
Photo from Luis Robayo/AFP