KIEV, Ukraine – The second day of the 2013 AIBA Junior World Boxing championships proved to be a sad one for the PLDT-Abap national team as one of its top bets lost in a slam-bang affair that the Philippine delegation thought he had won.
Hipolito Banal Jr, 16, looked like he delivered the clearer punches in several exchanges against Azerbaijan's Eljan Gafarli, but three judges found it in favor of the Azeri, all with identical scores of 29-28 in three rounds.
The 10-point must system is now used in Olympic-style boxing, giving a mandated 10 points to the boxer whom a judge feels has won the round. In this case, the judges gave Gafarli two rounds and Banal one.
The championships are being held at the impressive Kiev Sports Palace in this capital city around 480 miles west of Moscow, with 56 countries represented by 351 boxers aged 15-16 years old.
National coach Ronald Chavez, who worked Banal's corner with Juniors head coach Romeo Brin, was stunned by the decision saying “sigurado na kami na panalo kasi maganda pinakita ni Banal at nakita namin yong coach ng Azerbaijan na umiiling pagkatapos ng laban.”
Delegation head Ed Picson, however called for sobriety, reminding everyone the rules do not allow protests over the judges's decision. Only actuation of the referee may be questioned, as per Aiba rules.
The setback leaves opening-day winner Mike Angelo Plania and Paul Gilbert Galagnao to carry the torch for PLDT-Abap.
Plania, 16, takes on Puerto Rico's Henry Lebron Jr. on Tuesday, while 15-year-old Galagnao steps into the ring for the first time versus highly-touted Istvan Szaka of Hungary the same day.
The tournament ends on September 15.