FORMER Philippine national team member Charly Suarez, fighting for the Milan-based Italia Thunder, scored his second victory in the World Series of Boxing on Saturday at the Mediolanum Stadium in Milan.
Suarez edged Asian champion Anvar Yunusov, a Tajik who carried the colors of the United States (USA Knockouts) in the competition organized by the International Boxing Association (Aiba). The tournament is on its third season. Last year, Suarez fought for India's Mumbai Fighters, who are now on leave.
The bout was the most fiercely fought in the 5-fight card, with the Filipino trailing after three rounds.
But buoyed by the cheers of about 500 Filipinos in the audience, the Davao native won the late exchanges.
The fight was so close that two of the judges scored it a draw.
"I had to suck it up because so many Filipinos had bought tickets in advance. I didn't want to disappoint them," said Suarez, revealing after the fight that he was nursing a shoulder injury.
He thanked the officials of ABAP led by chairman Manny Pangilinan and president Ricky Vargas for giving him the opportunity to fight in the international league which has a 5-round format with fighters seeing action without head guards and singlets.
According to ABAP executive director Ed Picson, Suarez will undergo laser treatment for the injury before he goes up the ring again in March, possibly in the United States.