By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Carlo Paalam stunned 2021 world championship silver medalist Makhmud Sabyrkhan of Kazakhstan by hacking out a split decision to capture the men’s 54kg bantamweight gold medal in the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Amman, Jordan Saturday, Nov. 12.
Paalam, who moved up to the heavier weight category, earned a 30-27 decision from a United Arab Emirates judge while judges from Slovakia, India and Ireland declared him a 29-28 winner over his fancied rival.
Only the judge from Italy gave a 29-28 score in favor of the Kazakh fighter.
A Tokyo Olympics silver medalist in the flyweight class, Paalam earlier produced victories over Sanzhai Seidekmatov of Kyrgyzstan in the semifinals, Muhanov Dovlet of Turkmenistan and Joosung Yoon of South Korea.
Apart from Paalam’s feat, the PH team will also go home with two bronze medals courtesy of Nesthy Petecio in the women’s 57kg featherweight and Hergie Bacyadan in the women’s 75kg middleweight class.