By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
Carlo Paalam (left) and Nesthy Petecio (right) (File photo)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Nesthy Petecio is now one win away from giving the Philippines another Tokyo Olympic gold after beating Irma Testa of Italy in the semifinals of the women’s featherweight boxing tournament at the Kokugikan Arena in the Japanese capital on Saturday.
Petecio turned things around in the final six minutes to turn back her taller opponent.
Testa used her reach advantage pretty well in Round 1, tagging Petecio with solid jabs, and despite some activity from Petecio late into the round, all the five judges had it for the Italian.
Petecio, however, began pouring it on in Round 2, delivering solid strikes to Testa, who began showing signs of fatigue.
All the five judges gave Round 2 to Petecio leading to a 19-all deadlock entering Round 3.
While Testa still connected on some punches, the fatigue caught up on her as she resorted to flinching the still active Petecio for most of the final round.
Only Argentinian judge Manuel Vilarino had it 29-28 for Testa, but the other four judges, Hichem Menchaoui, Pavlo Vasylynchuk, Tsogtgerel Tserenkhand, and Maksim Sulejmani all scored the bout 29-28 for Petecio.
Petecio will be facing the winner of the other semifinal round later Saturday between Japan’s Sena Irie and Great Britain’s Karriss Artingstall in the gold medal bout set on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Carlo Paalam inched closer to having his own medal after dominating Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi in their men’s flyweight second-round affair.
Despite Flissi’s aggression, Paalam’s punching accuracy mattered a lot in this bout as all the five judges had it 30-27 for him.
Paalam will face Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov in the quarterfinals also on Tuesday with the winner assuring himself of at least a silver. (PNA)