Home Sports Paris or bust as Carlo Paalam takes last Olympic shot

Paris or bust as Carlo Paalam takes last Olympic shot

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Paris or bust as Paalam takes last Olympic shot

Carlo Paalam.–CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The slots may be limited, but the heavyweights are gone.

And Carlo Paalam hopes that he can finally punch a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics when he joins three other Filipino boxers in the final World Qualification Tournament at Indoor Stadium Huamark in Bangkok starting on Friday.

“This is my last chance. I’ll do everything to earn it,’’ said the Tokyo Olympics silver medalist after a pair of missed opportunities in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, last year and the first World Qualification Tournament in Busto Arsizio, Italy, in March.

Only three Olympic berths are available in Paalam’s 57-kilogram division of men’s boxing. But then again, the 25-year-old pride of Talakag in Bukidnon will no longer face his division’s big names since they have already booked tickets to the French capital.

Other boxers

Joining him in Bangkok are 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympian Rogen Ladon (men’s 51 kg), Criztian Pitt Laurente (men’s 63.5 kg) and Hergie Bacyadan (women’s 75 kg).

Laurente, who was recalled to the national team from the pro ranks, could be the luckiest from among the lot since the division of the 24-year-old from General Santos City opened five slots for Paris.

Unbeaten in all 12 professional fights, spiked by seven knockouts, Laurente got invited by the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines and clinched the national team slot by defeating Mark Ashley Fajardo in a box off.

“It’s more on quantity over quality in the amateurs. Since the fight lasts only three rounds, it’s more fast paced and requires more hand speed to earn points,’’ said Laurente. “I think I can manage it.’’

Bacyadan likewise shifted back to pure boxing after making waves in vovinam the past two years.” They say that I have great potential, but I offered no assurance. I will just push myself to be there in Paris,’’ said the 29-year-old Bacyadan. INQ



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