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Boxer OK after KO defeat

By NICK GIONGCO

JAKARTA – The punch that you don’t see is the punch that knocks you out.

BOXER Mario Fernandez flashes the thumbs-up sign to show that he is doing fine following a stunning one-punch, third-round knockout loss to Jaafar Al Sudani of Iraq on Saturday night.

BOXER Mario Fernandez flashes the thumbs-up sign to show that he is doing fine following a stunning one-punch, third-round knockout loss to Jaafar Al Sudani of Iraq on Saturday night.

That’s exactly what happened to Filipino bantamweight Mario Fernan­dez on Saturday night against his rangy Iraqi rival Jaafar Al Sudani in the 208 Asian Games.

“They were exchanging punches and he didn’t see it coming,” said Ed Picson, secretary general of the Associations of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) following the shocking exit of the two-time South­east Asian Games champion and 2014 Incheon bronze medalist.

Fernandez’s early departure came 24 hours after Nesty Petecio, a gold medal favorite, and welter Joel Ba­cho, were also sent packing.

With three out of the picture, the Philippines is left with just five: light-fly Carlo Paalam, fly Rogen Ladon, lightweight James Palicte, middle Eumir Felix Marcial and Irish Magno.

Palicte, 24, was taking on Uzbek Aburasulov Shunkor, 20, the 2017 world youth bronze medalist, at press time.

Fernandez was leading on the scorecards and was on his way to a victory when the roof caved in.

After spending the night under medical watch, Fernandez was al­lowed to return to his quarters at the Athletes Village.

Reacting to messages of concern, Fernandez shrugged off the anxiety felt by many with a post.

“Ok lang naman po tayo,” Fer­nandez wrote on this writer’s post. “Okay na po tayo. Na-one punch talaga tayo. Pray na lang po tayo sa lahat at lalo na sa kasama naming na maglalaro pa.”

Fernandez’s fall was sickening to watch. After taking a right to the side of the head, the Bukidnon-born Fernandez collapsed in a heap and twitched almost uncontrollably as he hit the floor

 

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