BANGKOK – Light-flyweight Rogen Ladon and welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial bowed to their top-seeded foes in the finals Saturday and settled for silver medals in the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships at the Thammasat University Gymnasium here.
Ladon took a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan while Marcial absorbed a 3-0 setback against reigning Asian Games champion Daniyar Yeleussinov of Kazakhstan.
The two Filipinos gave their best in the championship bout.
Ladon and Marcial, 21 and 19 years old, will not go home empty-handed since advancing to the medal rounds here already clinched for them slots to the AIBA World Championships in Doha, Qatar on Oct. 5 to 15.
The Doha event will serve as qualifier to next year’s Rio Olympics.
Filipino flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, who lost in the quarterfinals here, failed to secure a slot to the prestigious event in Doha because he did not land in the top six of his division at the close of the competition.
Marcial, the game fighter from Zamboanga, stood toe-to-toe with Yeleussinov, a veteran of the 2012 London Olympics. The Kazakh got the better end of their battle but also took some hard shots from the Filipino.
In the third round, Yeleussinov kept his distance from Marcial. He won convincingly on points to hand Kazakhstan its second gold medal.
“There was not a single bout where we lost badly. Everyone fought well but obviously some adjustments need to be made,” said Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson.
“Ladon and Marcial both beat some big guns on the way to the finals. I can’t ask more from them,” Picson also said.
Ladon, who had scored convincing victories over boxers from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Mongolia on the way to the finals, did not get going against the top-seeded Uzbek.
Right in the opening round, Dusmatov proved quicker on the draw and connected with both hands.
The 22-year-old Uzbek, who lost to Filipino Mark Anthony Barriga in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, took the opening round on all three scorecards.
In the second round, Ladon tried to stage a comeback but failed to land the same shots that carried him to the finals. The Uzbek was deducted a point in the round for repeated ducking.
The deduction did not matter in the end.
Ladon knew he was behind on points and made a desperate charge in the third and final round. Again, the Uzbek proved to be the better puncher.
The final verdict was 2-0 for the Uzbek. Two judges gave him the fight, both 29-27, while the third one had it even, 28-28.
“Hindi ko nakikita yung hook niya. Mabilis. Pero ilang beses din niya ako inulo,” said Ladon, who left the ring with a swollen right eye.
“Grabe ang sakit,” said the new pride of Bago City in Negros Occidental.
“He gave his all in his first three fights then faced a much quicker Uzbek in the finals. I think Ladon has over-achieved here and he deserves credit for that,” Picson added.
Ladon came here in place of Barriga, who is still recovering from a hand injury, but was quick to impress everybody, including his coaches.
“Hindi naman ganyan ang kilos niyan. Pero nagsipag siya ng husto sa training. Baka napapanahon na din,” said coach Pat Gaspi of Ladon.