Carlo Paalam ends Asian Games medal bid with loss to Uzbek foe

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Abdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan, right, and Carlo Paalam of Philippines, left, compete during men’s 51-57Kg quarterfinal boxing match at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Hangzhou, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

HANGZHOU, China—World champion Abdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan possessed the length and dexterity Carlo Paalam found too challenging to handle.

Exploiting his height advantage to the hilt, Khalokov showed Paalam the door after prevailing, 5-0, in the 57kg quarterfinals of men’s boxing at the 19th Asian Games here.

With the stinging defeat, the Olympic bid of Paalam next year in Paris came to a shattering end in these Games.

Only the finalists in his weight class get to grab those tickets in the French capital.

“I gave my all in this fight and I have no regrets,’’ said Paalam in Filipino. “I’ll bounce back in my next fight.’’

Abdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan, top, knocks out Carlo Paalam of Philippines, bottom, compete during men's 51-57Kg quarterfinal boxing match at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Hangzhou, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

Abdumalik Khalokov of Uzbekistan, top, knocks out Carlo Paalam of Philippines, bottom, compete during men’s 51-57Kg quarterfinal boxing match at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Hangzhou, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

That fight will be in Italy during the World Championships in February next year when the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist resumes his journey for a return trip to the quadrennial global showpiece.

Paalam’s exit also left the Philippines with a lone bet in light-heavyweight Eumir Marcial, who will figure in the semifinals on Wednesday against Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon.

Khalokov, who ruled the same weight division in the world championships early this year in his hometown Tashkent, began throwing volume punches right from the opening bell and engaged the vertically challenged Paalam in a dogfight.

A head taller than Paalam, Khalokov was likewise super active in the ring during the second round, waltzing around swiftly to evade Paalam’s combinations after being hit by a hammering right twice in the head.

The 23-year-old Uzbek also summoned the wrestler in him on many occasions by clinching Paalam and hurling him to the ground at least thrice.



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“We thought we had him (Khalokov) during the second round, but the judges still scored it 5-0. He’s (Khalokov) good, Carlo is still adjusting to his weight,’’ said coach Ronald Chavez.





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