Sluggish Rogen Ladon loses opening bout as PH boxers wiped out in Rio Olympics
Roger Ladon gets tagged with a left from Colombian Yurbergen Martinez. Jerome Ascano

RIO DE JANEIRO – The country’s best hope for an Olympic gold was gone too soon.

Light-flyweight Rogen Ladon found himself outpunched and outworked by Yurbejen Herney Martinez of Colombia in an action-packed fight in the 48-kg class of the boxing competitions of the XXXI Olympiad here Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

The 22-year-old native of Bago City, Negros Occidental, considered the best bet of the 13-man Philippine team for a first ever Olympic gold medal, just couldn’t get himself going against his crafty opponent and lost by scores of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.

The disappointing loss of Ladon, who drew an opening day bye, completed a wipeout of the two-man boxing team following the earlier loss of Charly Suarez in the 60 kg class.

Suarez lost by split decision against Joe Cordina of Great Britain in the first round.

Ladon advanced to the next round after drawing a bye on opening day.

And right in his first Olympic stint, the Filipino found himself in a fight with Martinez, a gold medalist in the 2013 Bolivian Games.

While he did connect against the Colombian, it was Martinez who landed the more clear shots especially in the second and third rounds when Ladon appeared to be losing steam.

The Filipino later said a pulled hamstring which he suffered during the fight limited his moves inside the ring.

‘Nahirapan ako gumalaw,” said an obviously dejected Ladon.

Martinez set up the duel with Ladon after beating home bet Patrick Lourenco in his first fight.

Meanwhile, fancied Vasilii Egorov of Russia was upset by Nico Hernandez of the U.S. following a unanimous decision

Follow the writer on Twitter: @jeromeascano