Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lands in Doha and inspires Filipino light flyweight Rogen Ladon to a surprise victory at the AIBA World Championships
The President of the Qatar Boxing Federation Yousuf Ali Al Kazim and AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu welcomed a true legend of modern boxing, Manny Pacquiao, to Doha for the AIBA World Championships on Thursday morning.
“It was an honour to be invited by Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and AIBA and Yousuf Ali Al Kazim, and it is a pleasure to be here among these exceptional boxers and supporting my fellow countryman Rogen Ladon at the historic first edition of the competition in the Middle East,” said the eight-time World Champion.
The “People’s Champion” joined the crowds for the start of the afternoon session on day three of the competition to cheer Ladon as he took on Mexico’s number one boxer and two-time PanAmerican Games champion Joselito Velazquez.
His presence was clearly a source of huge inspiration for the young Filipino, and Ladon was quick to gain the advantage over the number-one seed. Velazquez responded well, but was ultimately overcome by the occasion and was comprehensively beaten 3:0 on points
Pacquiao was quick to congratulate his fellow countryman after the bout, and was impressed by the standard of competition. “The boxers here are chasing not just gold,” said Pacquiao, “but a place in their national team for the Olympic Games, the dream of any sportsman and the result of years of hard work. The Qatar Boxing Federation and Local Organising Committee have provided a magnificent stage for them to compete on.”
The second day of the AIBA World Championships got underway in Doha with an afternoon session that delivered big names, stylish boxing and two knockouts
Early on Wednesday afternoon, 19-year-old Venezuelan flyweight Yoel Finol went into the ring as favourite against Zarip Jumayev, and the Turkmenistan’s number one’s strong combination punching wasn’t enough to stop Finol’s waves of attacks.
“I thank God for winning my opening bout in Doha. I felt great through the whole bout and I tried to keep my opponent under pressure… but I know this was only the first step,” said Venezuela’s WSB boxer Finol short after the bout.
The big Morrocccan Mohammed Arjaoui had his Venezuelan opponent Edgar Mata Munoz on the canvas in the third round of their super heavyweight bout, and the referee had no choice but to award the 28 year-old gold medal hope a win by technical knockout.
It was the second knockout of a big-hitting session of boxing, following Egypt’s Walid Said Mohamed’s despatching of the Filipino welterweight Eumir Marcial with the referee’s ten-count coming in the very first round.
Netherlands’ WSB boxer Enrico La Cruz, one of the most promising Europeans in the lightweight class, could not overcome Italian legend Domenico Valentino, who has claimed five medals in the last five editions of the AIBA World Boxing Championships, including the gold in 2009.
Earlier in the session, Georgia’s EUBC European Confederation Boxing Championships silver medallist Otar Eranosyan suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Ukrainian wildcard Tymur Beliak, before Qatar’s Hakan Murst Nuraydin delighted the home crowd by defeating Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Dzemal Bosnjak in the light heavyweight category.
Uzbekistan shine and Qatar make history on an action-packed second day of the AIBA World Championships
The second day of the AIBA World Boxing Championships saw 44 bouts of top-quality boxing and a very special guest at Doha’s Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena, with the winners in five categories going through to the last 16.
As the total number of match-ups over the opening two days of competition reached 83, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, President of the Association of National Olympic Committees, was welcomed to ringside by AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
Emphatic flyweight performances by Kazakhstan’s Olzhas Sattibayev and Venezuela’s Yoel Finol were superseded by a pair of crowd-pleasing knockouts midway through the first session of the day.
Egyptian Walid Said Mohamed’s had Eumir Marcial on the canvas in the very first round of their bout, and the Filipino welterweight couldn’t get back up before the referee’s ten-count. Morroccco’s super heavyweight Mohammed Arjaoui then scored a technical knockout in the third round of their super heavyweight bout.
One of the day’s big surprises came late on, as US national champion Steve Nelson was knocked out of the light heavyweight competition by Morrocco’s Hassan Saada, but the day belonged to Uzbekistan. The strong team secured three victories in total, including Elshod Rasulov’s amazing battle with Venezuela’s AMBC American Champion Albert Ramirez.
“I know it was only my first fight here in the championships, but I am happy to beat such a big rival as the Venezuelan. I’ve had some injuries in recent years but now I feel in top form. The atmosphere of the championships is excellent and I hope I can reach my goals in Doha,” said Rasulov after the bout.
Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Russia are the only countries to remain unbeaten after two days of competition, while hosts Qatar have now notched up two World Championship wins for the first time following Nuraydin’s victory over Bosnia’s Bosnjak.
Thursday sees the second preliminary round get underway, with all eyes on the big match-up between Cuba’s 2015 Panamerican Games winner Andy Cruz and Russia’s European Games gold medallist Bakhtovar Nazirov.