BANGKOK – Light-flyweight Rogen Ladon hit two birds with one stone Tuesday evening by beating second seed Murodjon Rasulov of Tajikistan in the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships here.
Ladon advanced to the semis of the 33-nation event with a 3-0 victory that assured himself of a slot to the AIBA World Championships in Doha, Qatar on Oct. 5 to 15.
When the 21-year-old native of Bago City gets to Doha, he will fight for a slot to next year’s Rio Olympics.
“Masaya ako makakapunta ako sa World Championships. Parang Olympics din ‘yun kasi buong mundo,” said Ladon, impressive in his first two wins in this Thai capital.
Ladon vowed to work harder regardless of what happens in the closing days of this event. He said he will do everything he can to make it to Rio.
“Magpu-pursigi ako sa training,” said Ladon, who will meet Mongolia’s Gan-Erdene Gankhuyag in the semis Friday after a rest day on Thursday.
The finals in all 10 weight classes will take place Saturday.
Flyweight Ian Clark Bautista did not advance to the semis when he took a 3-0 defeat against reigning Asian Championships champion Azat Usenaliev of Kyrgyzstan Wednesday.
But all is not lost on Bautista because six boxers in his weight class will advance to Doha.
Usenaliev established his left jab early and scored repeatedly with his one-two combinations. He won on all rounds on all three scorecards.
The third Filipino in the quarterfinals, welterweight Eumir Felix Marcial, was in Wednesday’s evening schedule, and will face Thailand’s Saylom Ardee.
If Marcial wins, he also secures an outright ticket to the World Championships, and the Philippines will have two men in the semis here.
Ladon employed the same tactic he had used the past few days here and pounced on his opponent right from the start of his quarterfinals match.
The 21-year-old pride of Bago City only stopped when the final bell rang, and he was amply rewarded with a unanimous victory.
Rasulov looked puzzled by the outcome although there was no sign of protest from the veteran of the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
“It was a clear win. No doubt about that one,” said ABAP executive director Ed Picson who watched from the VIP stands as Ladon threw punches in succession.
Ladon, however, said he wasn’t sure of the victory until the referee from Iran, Babak Bordbarhaghighisabe, raised his hands.
“Nagdadasal ako. Hindi din ako sigurado,” said Ladon, who is in his first stint in the world championships.
“Aggressive kasi talaga. Yun ang hinahanap ng judges,” said head coach Pat Gaspi.
In the last SEA Games, Ladon settled for the silver medal, losing his final bout against an Indonesian, and in the 2013 Asian Championships he lost in the quarterfinals.
After the match, he broke down.
“Masaya lang daw siya,” said assistant coach Boy Velasco.