HANGZHOU, China – Carlo Paalam hopes to follow fellow Olympian Eumir Marcial in the boxing semifinals of the 19th Asian Games, but will be up against a tough opponent in reigning world champion Khalokov Abdumalik of Uzbekistan in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round.
Paalam climbs the ring against the 23-year-old Uzbek at 7:30 p.m. at the Hangzhou gymnasium.
The Tokyo silver medal winner needed to dispatch Uulu Munarbek Seiitbek of Kyrgystan in the Round of 16 by the score of 4-1 to reach the quarterfinals.
Seiitbek, 27, was a bronze medalist in the last World Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Now, Paalam will have to go through no less than the gold medal winner himself in a bid to join Marcial in the semis.
“Halos lahat sila sa division namin magaling,” admitted the 25-year-old Filipino of the stacked roster in the men’s 57-kg class where is fighting for the first time.
Daunting the task may be, but head coach Ronald Chavez likes the chances of Paalam opposite Khalokov.
“Kaya ni Carlo talunin yan,” said Chavez, unmindful of the fact Paalam is the shortest in his division given that he moved up from 54 kg where he won a silver in the Olympics.
Marcial, 27, already booked a berth in the semis on Sunday after demolishing Weerapong Jongjoho of Thailand in the second round of the men’s 80-kg.