HANGZHOU, China — Carlo Paalam met a sorry end to his campaign as he bowed to Abdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan via unanimous decision in the quarterfinals of the men’s 57-kilogram boxing event of the 19th Asian Games on Tuesday at the Hangzhou Gymnasium here.
Paalam, the silver medalist in the 53-kg event of the Tokyo Olympics, struggled containing the height and length of the 23-year-old Khalokov, who is the best fighter in the division after clinching the gold medal in the World Championships in Tashkent recently.
His best chance came in the second round when he put up an aggressive stance, but the judges still scored it in favor of the reigning world champion.
“We thought we won it in the second round,” national team mentor Ronald Chavez said.
“But the judges still gave us a 5-0 (loss). It’s impossible for us to lose in the second round because in the final minute of the second round, Carlo got aggressive. But it’s their call. We can’t do anything about it.”
“And besides, he’s really good. Carlo is still adjusting to 57 so he still has to catch up. Anyway, we still have the world qualifying (for the Paris Olympics) in Italy this February so we have to prepare for that.”
Paalam, one of the country’s brightest hopes to win an Asian Games medal, said he has nothing to be ashamed of.
“He really pushed me to the limit. He’s a veteran and he’s really good,” Paalam, who beat an impressive cast of competitors on his way to the quarterfinals, said.
“I have no regrets. I know I did everything I could to win the match. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it.”
“Will just work hard and win next time.”