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Ladon debuts versus Kazakh

HAMBURG, Germany – National coach Ronald Chavez came to the fights Friday in the 17th AIBA World Boxing Championships armed to the gills.

He had a potent weapon on hand: his smartphone.

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Chavez filmed the preliminary bout starring Zhomart Yerzhan of Kazakhstan and Michael Tello Tello of Guatemala as the victor secures a spot in the round-of-16 against Rogen Ladon, the country’s top bet in this powerhouse event being held at the Sporthalle.

At the end of the three-rounder, Chavez got what he, and fellow coach Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco, came for, a chance to check out Yerzhan, declared a 5-0 winner over the Central American bet.

Chavez and Velasco stayed behind to see other fighters in action, especially those who might end up crossing swords with Ladon as the tournament progresses.

“Kaya yan,” Chavez said, noting that Ladon should take care of Yerzhan when they collide 2pm Sunday (8pm in Manila).

Still, Chavez echoes Velasco’s concerns about the one thing that oftentimes ruins a script.

“Huwag lang magkumpyansa,” he said.

Fly Dannel Maamo, the only other Filipino fighter here, was taking on Mahomed Otukile of Botswana at press time. If he wins, Maamo meets Cuban top seed Yosvany Veitia in the round-of-16.

The Philippines has never won a gold medal in the biennial worlds with Roel Velasco and Harry Tanamor settling for silver in 1997 and 2007.

Ladon took the bronze two years ago in Qatar and is raring to at least repeat.

But Philippine Sports Commission chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, whose agency supported their trip here, is urging Ladon and Maamo to go all-out.

“The entire country is behind you,” said Ramirez.