Carlo Paalam beats Algerian foe to advance in quarterfinals

Published July 31, 2021, 11:14 AM

by Carlo Anolin

Flyweight boxer Carlo Paalam advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after scoring a unanimous decision win against fourth-seeded Mohamed Flissi of Algeria in their Round of 16 bout at the Kokugikan Arena Saturday, July 31.

Philippines’ Carlo Paalam (red) and Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi fight during their men’s fly (48-52kg) preliminaries round of 16 boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on July 31, 2021. (AFP)

All judges scored 30-27 in favor of Paalam after consistently landing solid combinations on Flissi.

After a technical first round, with the Filipino bet landing cleaner quality shots on the Algerian slugger, Paalam stepped on the pedal and engaged with Flissi head on by exchanging punches in the second frame.

A confident Paalam started the third round more calm but still dangerous and sharp as he sent Flissi wobbling near the 2:12 mark and hauled more points by another solid combination at 1:15.

The 23-year-old Bukidnon native fighter unleashed a crisp left hand which most likely sealed the victory with less than a minute to go.

Paalam, still on the roll, still wanted a piece of Flissi at the waning seconds as the two boxers meet again at center ring, exhausting all the fuel left on their gas tanks.

Up next for the Filipino pug, who is a win away from securing a bronze medal, is Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan, who earlier defeated Daniel David Varela de Pina of Cape Verde. (Carlo Anolin) ###