Fernandez, Suarez Advance
Mario Fernandez and Charly Suarez made up for the stunning exit of the youngest member of the Philippine team and advanced to the semifinals Tuesday in the boxing competitions of the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games.
Fernandez outclassed Vietnam’s Tran Phu Cuong in the 56 kg bantamweight class while Suarez gave hometown bet Khir Akyazlan Azmi of Malaysia a standing eight count on his way to a split decision win in the 64 kg light welterweight divisions.
Their wins came after 19-year-old Carlo Paalam suffered a quarterfinal defeat to Malaysia’s Muhammad Fuad Bin Mohamed Redzuan in the 49 kg light flyweight category, much to the dismay of the contingent of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines led by executive director Ed Picson.
Fernandez and Suarez are guaranteed of at least a bronze medal and were eyeing berths in the gold medal bout in Wednesday’s semifinals.
Fernandez faces Nat Siek Nin of Cambodia while Suarez battles Thailand’s Wuttichai Masuk.
Eumir Felix Marcial, who won his quarterfinal match Monday, meets Malaysia’s Indran Ramakrishnan in the semis of the 75 kg middleweight category also on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Fil-Briton Marvin John Nobel Tupas reached the quarters of the 81 kg light heavyweight division following a dominating win over Cambodia’s Felix Merlin Martinez.
Tupas thrice floored Martinez, a naturalized boxer from Cuba, on his way to a faceoff with Thailand’s Anavat Thongkrathok.