THE Philippines’ light flyweight hopeful Rogen Ladon was eliminated in the Olympic boxing competition late Monday night (Manila time) by Colombia’s Yuberjen Martinez, who won a unanimous decision and advanced to the quarter finals at the Riocentro Pavilion 6 in Rio de Janeiro.
It was another disappointing performance by the last man standing after Charly Suarez dropped a split decision to Welsh European lightweight champion and Commonwealth Games’ bronze medalist Jose Cordina, prompting Association of Boxing Alliances President president Ricky Vargas to tell Manila Standard via a text message, “Maybe time for a new leadership partner. Time to go for me.”
In a texted message to ABAP executive director Ed Picson, which Vargas also forwarded to the Manila Standard, he said he was “so downhearted” and would talk to Picson tomorrow.
Vargas suggested: “Let us offer the presidency (of ABAP) to Manny Pacquiao,” the newly elected senator and eight-division world boxing champion.
Vargas told Picson to arrange a meeting with Pacquiao when the boxing team comes back from Rio.
On Tuesday, Vargas formalized his sentiments with a statement.
“We need new leadership to refresh ABAP and inspire our pipeline of next generation boxers in our pool. We did our best and now it is time to turn the baton over after 8 years of leadership. We had our share of success in the SEA Games, Asian Games and World Championships, but of course the standard is the Olympics and we have been unsuccessful there. When Exec Dir Ed Picson returns from Rio, he and Secretary General Patrick Gregorio will call for the 2016 ABAP elections at the soonest possible time. We thank Chairman MVP (Manny Pangilinan) and the entire Filipino nation for their support to boxing.”
In the case of Ladon, there could be no complaints as he missed with wildly swinging shots and faded badly, unable to keep pace with his Colombian opponent, who had earlier beaten Brazil’s Patrick Lourenco in the Round of 32.
Martinez appeared to be in a much-better physical condition and kept up his aggressive stance in Rounds 2 and 3, after Ladon, who was ranked No. 5 by AIBA and drew a bye in the opening round of competition, started aggressively but failed to connect with many of his punches in the initial round.
Cordina used his three-inch height advantage to score with jabs and 1-2 combinations in the third and final round after Suarez lost the first, but came back aggressively to win the second round on the scorecards of two of the three judges.
However, in an action-packed toe-to-toe battle in the third and final round, Cordina scored with jabs and 1-2 combinations from the outside.
The scoring of Uzbekistan judge Jasurbek Kurbanov came under scrutiny after he gave all three rounds for Cordina, while two of the other judges gave Round 2 to the aggressive Suarez.
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