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Laurente no match to Kazakh foe

The title bid of light flyweight Criz Russu Laurente came to an end Thursday after losing to Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan in the ASBC Asian Junior Boxing Championships in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Laurente was hoping to become the first Filipino to barge into the semifinals of the five-day competition hosted by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, but four of the five judges awarded the bout to Sabyrkhan.

The General Santos City native earned the nod of the five judges in the first round, but his Kazakh foe was dominant in the next two rounds.

It was a disappointing setback for Laurente, who began the 15-16 year old Asian competition by defeating China’s Cai Yujun via unanimous decision in Wednesday’s preliminary round.

Laurente was eyeing a repeat of his impressive showing but over-eagerness and advance to tomorrow’s semifinal round, but over-eagerness may have played a role in his defeat.

His exit leaves the Philippines with just three boxers to continue the title bid in John Vincent Pangga, Kenneth de la Pena and Norlan Petecio.

Pangga, De la Pena and Petecio were seeking semifinal berths against their respective opponents at presstime in the tournament backed by Palawan Gov. Jose Ch. Alvarez, City Mayor Lucilo Bayron, Philippine Sports Commission, MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, Maynilad, PLDT, Wesing, Meralco, Meralco One Foundation, Philippine Airlines, San Miguel Corporation and Hotel Centro Puerto Princesa.

Pangga was facing United Arab Emirates’ Saif Alkharoosi in the 50 kg. flyweight division, De la Pena battling India’s Soy Selay in the 44-46 pinweight class and Petecio meeting Sherzod Kodirboev in the 60 kg lightweight category at presstime.