The bronze medal is guaranteed for Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam after winning against 2016 Rio Olympics defending champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan on Tuesday at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
As a result, Paalam has advanced to the men’s flyweight semifinals (48-52kg).
Paalam struggled to score in the opening round due to Zoirov’s erratic movements in the arena.
However, after a few seconds, Paalam developed good timing and was able to deliver strong punches.
Paalam’s counterpunching was also good so it convinced all five judges and gave him Round 1.
In Round 2, the two had an accidental headbutt so they bled slightly on their respective foreheads.
It was here that the ring doctor stopped the fight.
Due to the fact that the matchup did not end, the score was passed through the scorecard where, even in Round 2, the Philippines was still ahead of the judges.
The referee, at the 1:40 mark, stopped the match in favor of Paalam with a “win by points” 4-0.
So far three boxers are sure to have a medal for the Philippines.
This is the record breaking feat of the Philippine boxing team in the history of the country’s participation in the Olympics.
Meanwhile, Paalam couldn’t contain his enthusiasm after proclaiming his triumph, which saw him getting down on his knees and recording a major upset against the world’s number one boxer.
On Thursday, Paalam will have his next fight against Japanese boxer Ryomel Tanaka, around 1:30 PM (Philippine time).