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Ladon, Marcial lead assault

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – With temperatures swinging from 7 to 23 degrees, the ABAP Philippine National Boxing Team tried to steer a steady course as they snagged two victories in three outings on the second day of the ASBC Asian Elite Men’s Championships at the sprawling Uzbekistan National Sports Complex.

Rio de Janeiro Olympian Rogen Ladon, seeded number 2 in the 49 kilogram light flyweight division, decked his opponent Hassan Naser in the second round with a snap left hook that sent the Iraqi tumbling to the canvass. Uzbek referee Alexandra Khamidov gave him the 8-count.

Naser survived the knockdown and gamely finished the bout but was no match for the 23 year old Bago City native, who was given the nod by all five judges. Four of them gave Ladon a 30-27 count while the judge from Azerbaijan saw it 30-26, also for the Filipino.

Zamboanga City native Eumir Felix Marcial, now a hulking middleweight after starting off as a flyweight with ABAP in 2011, lured Japanese Makoto Takahashi into a brawl and got the Uzbek crowd applauding as he time and again unloaded power combos on his hapless foe.

“In fairness, he was tough”, acknowledged the 21 year old PAF airman in Pilipino.

“He ate a lot of my punches but never backed down. He just kept coming. I give him credit for that. He’s a strong, courageous boxer.”

At the end of three rounds the final tally was 5-0 for Marcial, all judges returning 30-27 cards.

The only casualty of the day was first day winner Mario “Jordan” Bautista who also figured in a slugfest with the number 3 seed from Kazakhstan, Kairat Yeraliyev.

Bautista went toe to toe with the heavily favored Kazakh and the boxing-crazy Uzbek crowd was divided in cheering for the two pugilists. The judges however, saw it unanimously for Yeraliyev.

Tuesday three more Filipinos see action with first day winners lightweight James Palicte facing #2 seed and hometown boy Elnur Abduraimov and Joel Bacho fighting number 5 seed Sajjad Kazemzadehposhtiri of Iran.