After Asiad scam, ‘no mas’ for Camat
- Abac Cordero () - October 22, 2002 - 12:00am
Saying he’s had enough of those biased, one-sided and unfair decisions in the international arena, Fil-American Chris Camat has decided to leave the national boxing team, rejoin his family in Los Angeles, California and probably return to the old, decent job he vacated just to competeand vie for the gold in the Busan Asian Games.

"That’s it. I’ve had enough," said the 23-year-old Camat, a fearless light middleweight who just has the unfortunate task of facing a Pakistani fighter right in his opening bout in Busan. As expected, he failed to get past Kashif Karim, dropping an 11-7 decision despite putting up a clean, good fight that could have brought him to the medal rounds.

The loss proved to be a bitter pill to swallow for the 5-foot-9 slugger who gave RP boxing officials a lot to look forward when he took part in the 2000 Sydney Olympics qualifying round in Bangkok. Fighting with a bloodied, broken nose, he defeated a Chinese boxer only to lose his next fight against a slugger from Uzbekistan, settling for the bronze and missing the last bus to Sydney.

Camat, who worked as a furniture showroom consultant in the US to support his wife and child, felt he could have gone farther in Busan if not for the fact that Karim is a compatriot of Prof. Anwar Chowdry of Pakistan, the long-time president of the International Amateur Boxing Association who has tight, deep connections with boxing officials from South Korea, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Incidentally, these five countries feasted on the 12 boxing gold medals disputed at the Masan Gymnasium in Busan with Uzbekistan winning five. South Korea three and Kazakhstan two with Pakistan and Thailand taking one each. The Pakistani who defeated Camat in the quarterfinals failed to win the gold, losing to an Uzbek.

"I can’t take any more of the judging. I don’t wanna be here long as Chowdry in head (of the AIBA)," added Camat, whose stay here in the country is being shouldered by the Philippine Sports Commission and former Sen. Rene Saguisag. He is expected to visit his relatives in San Manuel, Pangasinan, before pushing back to the US next month.

Turning out to be the saving grace for the eight-man RP boxing team was lightfly Harry Tanamor who needed to win four bouts to get a short at the gold before losing, fair and square, to South Korea’s Kim Ki Suk, 24-19, on the final day of battle. Tanamor’s silver was the only medal for the Filipino boxers in the quadrennial event.

Aside from Camat, three other Filipinos lost to Pakistani’s in Busan— flyweight Violito Payla who dropped a 31-19 decision to Nouman Karim, Sydney Olympian Romeo Brin who absorbed a 31-15 loss to lightwelter Ashger Ali Shah, and middleweight Maraon Goles who didn’t last long against Ahmed Ali Khan after being knocked out with only 10 seconds left the opening round. Of the four losses to Chowdry’s boys, it was those of Payla and Camat that hurt the most simply because it was in these bouts where the Filipinos seemed to have won on the ring, but not in the eyes of the judges.

Camat, according to a local boxing official, might even consider turning pro once he settles down in the US. But for the meantime, and as far as his amateur career is concerned, it’s "no mas, no mas."

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