by Nick Giongco
HAMBURG, Germany – Flyweight Dannel Maamo set himself up for a date with Cuban top seed Yosvany Veitia in the next round after a split decision win Saturday over Mahomed Otukile of Botswana in the 17th AIBA World Boxing Championships at the Sporthalle.
Maamo was clearly outgunned in the first round and even halfway into the second on the strength of Otukile’s crisp combinations but the Filipino, knowing that the fight was slipping away, rallied behind his left hook and body punching.
“Magaling ang timing kaya’t lagi ako tinataaman,” said Maamo, whose clash with Veitia takes place on Monday.
National coaches Ronald Chavez wasn’t totally satisfied and he didn’t mice words in scolding Maamo.
“Nagpapatama ka kasi eh,” said Chavez, adding that he can’t do the same thing against Veitia.
Meanwhile, Rogen Ladon clashes with with a brash Kazakhstan puncher when he makes his debut Sunday.
Zhomart Yerzhan earned a berth in the round-of-16 after after beating Michael Tello Tello of Guatemala on a unanimous decision Saturday in the biennial slugfest that drew the participation of 243 boxers from almost 80 countries.
Yerzhan, 24, easily got rid of the Central American entry by banking on his potent left hand that struck Tello’s body and head with regularity.
While Tello was not in trouble of going down, Yerzhan made it sure there would be no questions on the mind of the five judges that included Filipino Cildo Evasco.
National coaches Nolito ‘Boy’ Velasco and Ronald Chavez at ringside to check out Yerzhan, a year older at 24 but one they described as beatable.
“Kaya yan,” said Chavez, who took a video on his smartphone of Yerzhan’s victory before heading back to their hotel in the city center.
But Velasco likewise echoed Chavez’s sentiments about Ladon becoming too complacent.
“Huwag lang magkumpyansa,” said Velasco, who has also acted as the team leader for the Philippines here while they are awaiting the arrival of Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines executive director Ed Picson from Manila.
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