AMMAN, Jordan – Last minute substitute Rogen Ladon, who suited up for the injured Mark Anthony Barriga, bucked an awkward, lunging Naser Hasan of Iraq to notch his first win in the Asian Elite Men's Championships at the state of the art Amman Boxing Arena in this Biblical city.
Ladon, the younger of two boxing brothers from Bago City (his brother Joegin retired this year and has since been appointed to the PLDT-ABAP coaching staff), dominated the first round with cat-quick, side-stepping moves and counter-punches that frustrated the 21 year old Iraqi throughout the fight.
The three judges gave the 19-year-old Filipino a unanimous decision on scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.
Ladon joins 2010 Asian Games gold medalist Rey Saludar in the roster of winners in this tournament which attracted boxers from 27 Asian countries. Saludar earlier notched 2 wins in the first two days of the competition.
Debuting Thursday are lightweight Junel Cantancio, who just over a week ago snatched the silver medal in the prestigious China Open in Guiyang, China. He faces veteran Ardee Sailom of Thailand.
In the same card, bantamweight Mario Fernandez faces a tough opponent in Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan.
Saludar goes up again in Friday's flyweight quarterfinals against Thai Tanes Ongjunta.
Ladon will next see action on Saturday against tough Temerlas Zhussupov of Kazakhstan.
The tournament ends Monday.