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Ladon earns spot to Rio Olympics


QIAN’AN, China – This time, light flyweight Rogen Ladon would not be denied.

Five months after narrowly losing his shot at qualifying to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics during the world championship in Doha, Ladon finally made it after outhitting and outsmarting Indian Devendro Singh Laisham in their semifinal bout in the AIBA Asian/Oceanian Olympic Qualifying Event yesterday at the Tangshan Sports Centre here.

Ladon was so emotional he cried unabashedly after he was declared winner.

All three judges scored it, 30-27, for the 22-year-old Ladon, the 2015 Southeast Asian Games silver medalist who now fights for the gold against Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov.

The Uzbek beat Mongolia’s Gankhuyag Gan-Erdene in the other semis bout.

Ladon will be seeking vengeance after losing to Dusmatov by decision in the final of the 2015 ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships.

Beaten by Russian Vasili Egorov in the semifinal last October in Doha, Ladon, from Bago City, Negros Occidental, refused to fall into an elaborate trap laid down by his crafty opponent.

Unable to lure Ladon inside, Laisham lunged in desperation and got deducted a point in the second round for excessive ducking.

“Buong araw kahapon pinag-aralan namin ang mga kalaban,” said PH coach Boy Velasco. “Kailangan mauna si Ladon sa bigayan ng straight kasi yung sa India, manggagaling sa labas. Kay Ladon, deretso, so unang tatama. Straight at upper cut and pang-score ni Rogen.”

Though assured of a spot in the Olympics, Ladon is not about to rest on his achievement.

“Tuloy na sa gold ‘to, sir!” Ladon said. “Number one pala tayo dito. Nakakahiya kung hindi gold.”

Not fortunate was bantamweight Mario Fernandez who lost to Thai Chatchai Butdee in their semis bout – 29-27 in the cards of all three judges.

But all is not lost for Fernandez as he still has a chance to finish No. 3. But to achieve that, he has to beat a Kazakhstan fighter in a box of on Friday to secure an Olympic berth.

The top three three boxers in each male weight category qualify for an Olympic berth.