Suarez closer to title shot

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Suarez closer to title shot
Charly Suarez.
STAR / File

IBF No. 5 and WBO No. 9 super-featherweight Charly Suarez endured testy moments in pounding out a unanimous eight-round decision over tough Luis Coria in Corpus Christi, Texas, last weekend but never complained, offering everything to the Lord as the King’s Warrior, his nom de guerre.

Suarez, 35, absorbed a hard right uppercut on the chin in the seventh frame, was robbed of a knockdown in the eighth and took a mandatory eight-count on a fluke fall just before the fight ended. He was wobbled by the uppercut, stood his ground and battled back. Then, Suarez decked Coria with a right hook that opened a cut on his left eyebrow only for referee Jon Schorle to rule it a slip. As the bout came to a close, Coria landed a powder-puff left jab that caught Suarez off-balance, sending him tumbling to the ropes with his left glove touching the canvas. Schorle called it a knockdown.

“Out of balance at nadulas ako,” said Suarez. “’Di yun’ knockdown. Noong tinamaan ko si Coria ng kanan, bumagsak siya at tinawag na slip. ‘Di ako nag-complain. Ganoon talaga ang boksing.” Suarez said he never underestimated Coria, a late substitute for Henry Lebron who backed out for unclear reasons. “Magaling siya at matibay,” said Suarez. “Yung laban niya kay (2016 Olympic lightweight gold medalist Robson) Conceicao, pinabagsak niya at duguan siya. Thankful ako kay Lord at wala akong injury pagkatapos ng laban.” Judges Nathaniel Cantu and Lucy Rogers scored it 77-74 and judge Ruben Carrion 76-75, all for Suarez. The win raised Suarez’ record to 17-0 with nine KOs while Coria’s mark dipped to 15-7 with seven KOs and his losses were all on points.

Suarez fought a technical and tactical fight, countering, boxing from a distance, throwing combinations, zipping in and out. He controlled the action from the center of the ring and never allowed Coria, who is 10 years younger, to pin him against the ropes or into a corner. Suarez returns home today and hopes to figure in a title eliminator in July or August, possibly against undefeated WBO No. 3 contender Andres Cortes of Las Vegas.

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