Bado shocks Thai ace, claims gold

Joey Villar - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  Aaron Jude Bado used his length and ring savvy in the final two rounds to shock World Championship bronze medalist Thanarat Saengphet with a 3-2 split decision and claim the flyweight gold in the ASBC Asian Under-22 Boxing Championships in Bangkok, Thailand yesterday.

Unlike in the opening round where he was utterly careless that allowed his decorated Thai foe to land crisp head and body shots, Bado boxed more intelligently in the last two rounds as he used his great footwork to connect with jarring hits.

The former Palarong Pambansa standout was more selective on his shots in the last two rounds, with his connections proving enough to eke out a come-from-behind win.

And for someone who just made his international debut, the win was super special for Bado.

“It was a great win for Bado and we’re very proud of this accomplishment,” Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines secretary-general and executive director Marcus Manalo told The STAR.

“It’s his first ever international tournament and he was up against the host country in the finals and able to keep his poise and make the adjustments after losing the first round,” he added.

Bado, who routed Malaysian Qaiyum Ariffin, 5-0, in the semis Tuesday, used his length to the hilt.

“He was able to use his reach advantage better and was methodical in his attack against the good Thai fighter,” said Manalo of Bado.

Flint Jara failed to make it a golden double for the Filipinos as he yielded to Kazakh Nursultan Altunbek via unanimous decision and settled for the silver in the bantamweight class.

It capped what had been a productive performance for the country, which snared a couple of bronze courtesy of feather Jericho Acaylar and light fly Mark Lester Durens.

“He and the other medalists in this tournament are part of the bright future of the national boxing team,” said Manalo.


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