Before the start of the Southeast Asian Games, Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines Secretary General Ed Picson noted that they are targeting the overall championship by winning at least half of the available gold medals. The boxing team accomplished the mission by winning seven gold medals, followed by Thailand finishing with five, and Vietnam getting one. Here are the recaps for all 10 gold medal bouts featuring a Filipino fighter held Monday at the PICC Forum.
Light flyweight (M) - Carlo Paalam def. Kornelis Kwangu Langu (INA) via UD, wins gold.
Light flyweight Carlo Paalam gave Filipino boxing the golden opening they wanted as he scored the first gold medal by defeating Kornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia. Paalam won via unanimous decision with four judges scoring it as a shutout 30-27 and the other judge having it 29-28.
Paalam was the first of 10 Filipino boxers seeing action in gold-medal matches.
The Filipino was fighting off the back-foot as the Indonesia was more aggressive. He found himself on the ropes quite a few times in the first two rounds but he always managed to fight out of the precarious situations. Paalam landed the cleaner blows as he also popped the job when Langu was coming in to engage.
The Filipino light flyweight kept his attacks very simply as he stuck with jab-straights and jab-straight-hooks.
Langu upped the intensity in the third round as he went for broke, perhaps sensing that he was behind on points but he found Paalam to be a very elusive target.
Flyweight (W) - Irish Magno loses to Thi Tam Nguyen (VIE) via SD, 1-4. Wins silver.
The second Filipino to see action was Irish Magno in the flyweight division as she went up against Nguyen Thi Tam of Vietnam. The Vietnamese bet towered over Magno but she didn't settle on staying on the outside as she also attacked and connected. Magno landed clean right hands throughout the fight but it was Nguyen who showed more activity.
Sensing that she was ahead on the scorecards, Nguyen stayed out of trouble in the third round and was content with connecting with hooks when Magno tried to cut the distance. The Vietnamese boxer also burned precious seconds off the clock by clinching, showing a well-prepared game plan as she won the match via decision. Four judges sided with the Vietnamese 30-27 thrice and 29-28 once while Magno convinced one judge to score it for her 29-28.
Flyweight (M) - Rogen Ladon def. Ammarit Yaodam (THA) via UD, wins gold.
Asian Games silver medalist Rogen Ladon outclassed Thailand's Ammarit Yaodam for the country's second gold, prevailing via a 5-0 unanimous decision. The scores were 30-25, 30-26 and 30 2-7 three times.
In a rugged bout that saw Yaodam constantly bodying up and clinching and both fighters tumbling to the canvass together three times due to pushing and pulling, Ladon connected with his vaunted left throughout the three rounds.
The referee constantly had to warn both fighters as the rugged tactics threatened to get out of hand. She momentarily stopped the bout in the second round to have the ringside doctor examine a cut on Yaodam's right eyebrow, but the Thai was allowed to continue.
Ladon's left hook and straight found a home in the second round as he started boxing more from a distance to avoid the Thai's clinching. Yaodam resorted again to bodying up Ladon in an attempt to close the distance but Ladon still managed land the more telling blows.
Light flyweight (W) - Josie Gabuco def. Endang (INA) via UD, wins gold
Josie Gabuco did just enough to get the nod of all five judges to win the Philippines' third gold, scoring a unanimous decision over Indonesia's Endang. All five judges scored it 30-27.
The two had good exchanges in the first round but Gabuco tagged Endang a few times with her overhand right. The Filipina continued to find a home for her right hand in the second round, although didn't back down from their exchanges.
The third round was more of the same as Endang simply couldn't stop Gabuco from connecting with her right. The Indon managed to sneak in a few jabs but just didn't do enough damage.
Light welterweight (M) - James Palicte def. Van Hai Nguyen (VIE) via UD, wins gold.
In a bout that was action-packed all the way, James Palicte earned the fourth gold with a unanimous decision over Vietnam's Van Hai Nguyen. One judge had it 29-28 while the four others scored it a 30-27 shutout for the younger brother of pro boxer Ashton Palicte.
Palicte controlled the pace in the first round, landing a few jabs and right straights against Nguyen. The second round saw both boxers pick up the pace, with Palicte still landing the more telling blows. With both fighters perhaps unsure of the judges' scoring, they went all out in the third round and engaged in spirited exchanges. Nguyen staggered Palicte with a solid right in the middle of the round, but it wasn't enough to stem the tide as the Filipino got the judges' nod.
Welterweight (M) - Marjon Piañar loses to Wuttichai Masuk (THA) via UD, wins silver
Veteran campaigner Wuttichai Masuk proved too much for SEA Games first-timer Marjon Piañar as he took an easy 5-0 decision with all judges scoring it a shutout at 30-27.
Masuk, the light welterweight gold medalist two years ago in Kuala Lumpur, negated Piañar's height and reach advantage with quick combinations that found their mark. The 29-year-old Indonesian was just too crafty for his 20-year-old opponent, who often got tagged by Masuk's lefts.
Lightweight (W) - Riza Pasuit loses to Sudaporn Seesondee (THA), via SD, 4-1, wins silver
Sudaporn Seesondee made it two straight golds for Thailand by outclassing Riza Pasuit to get the gold via a 4-1 split decision with scores 29-28, 30-27 twice, 30-26, 27-30.
Seesondee controlled the pace in the first round, with Pasuit content to counter. The Thai slipped a few right straights through Pasuit's defense, although overall there wasn't too much action.
Pasuit tried to press the action in the second round and landed some good punches during a few exchanges. Seesondee, though, counterpunched well and appeared to take control towards the end of the round.
Seesondee boxed well in the third round, not taking too many chances but still connecting with enough punches to earn the nod of four of the five judges.
Lightweight (M) - Charly Suarez def. Khunatip Pidnuch (THA) via UD, wins gold
In an action-packed slugfest, Charly Suarez marked a triumphant return to international competition with a unanimous decision over Khunatip Pidnuch. All five judges saw it 30-27 for Suarez, a bronze medalist in the light welterweight division at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEAG.
Suarez, who turned pro last year and is making a return to the national team, engaged Pidnuch in furious exchanges in the first round. It was an all-out brawl in the second round with Suarez landing heavy blows that prompted the referee to give Pidnuch a standing eight count.
Sensing he was behind on the scorecards, Pidnuch came out swiniging in the final round and managed to nail Suarez with some big shots. But the veteran responded with some heavy of his own as neither fighter backed down.
Featherweight (W) - Nesthy Petecio def. New Ni Oo (MYA) via UD, wins gold
AIBA World Boxing Championships gold medalist Nesthy Petecio finally won her first SEA Games gold medal with a dominant win over Nwe Ni Oo of Myanmar. The match was so one-sided that three of the five judges scored all three rounds 10-8 for a 30-24 scorecard. The two other judges had it 30-26 and 30-27.
Petecio and Oo were the only two participants in their weight class, and it was clear from the onset who the superior fighter was. The 27-year-old Petecio, a silver medalist in the 2015 Singapore Games, completely outclassed her overmatched foe to get the wide decision.
Women's boxing was stricken off the calendar in the 2017 edition, so Petecio had to wait four years before finally winning a gold in the SEA Games.
Middleweight (M) - Eumir Marcial def. Manh Kuong Nguyen (VIE) via RSC-1, wins gold
Reigning AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medalist Eumir Marcial was picked to main event the final day of boxing competitions in the SEA Games and he delivered the goods. The Filipino crowd wanted a big ending and Marcial gave it to them,
Nguyen Manh Cuong of Vietnam did not even get the opportunity to warm up and get his bearings in the match as Marcial landed a strong left-straight 24 seconds into the match. The heavy-handed Filipino landed an even better left about two seconds that prompted a standing eight count.
It was a body shot that finally floored Nguyen a minute into the match and the referee counted him out to start a delirious celebration from the Filipino fans.