By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Marvin Tabamo hurdled his opening bout while Carlo Paalam and Junmilardo Ogayre yielded to their rivals in the 74th Strandja International Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria Thursday, Feb. 23.
Tabamo, who earned an opening round bye in the men’s 51kg flyweight division, pulled off a closew 3-2 decision over Serbia’s Omer Ametovic to book a quarterfinal berth.
Judges from Germany and Bulgaria gave Tabamo a 30-27 victory in the three-round fight, even as the judge from Poland also favored the Filipino pug, 29-28.
Danish and Kazakh judges, however, favored the Serbian boxer with 30-27 and 29-28 scores.
Tabamo’s victory set him up a meeting with Zhang Jiamao of China, who overwhelmed Germany’s Salah Ibrahim, 5-0.
Paalam and Ogayre, meanwhile, absorbed stinging defeats from their respective Uzbek foes.
Despite showing high quality boxing, the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Paalam fell short and bowed to Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, 5-0, in the men’s 54kg bantamweight quarters, while Ogayre yielded to Abdumalik Khalokov, 5-0, in the second round of the men’s 57kg featherweight class.
Their defeats left the PH squad with only three fighters in contention in Europe’s oldest boxing competition.
Apart from Tabamo, also in the running are Aira Villegas in the women’s 50kg light flyweight and Paul Julyfer Bascon.