Ladon begins Paris quest

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Ladon begins Paris quest
Rogen Ladon

MANILA, Philippines — An age difference of 11 years may be an advantage or disadvantage for Bago City veteran Rogen Ladon when he faces Spanish teener Rafael Serrano Lozano, Jr. in the 51kg preliminaries at the second World Olympic Qualifiers in Bangkok this afternoon. Experience will be on the 30-year-old Ladon’s side while Lozano, 19, will rely on younger legs to carry him through in the three-round bout.

Ladon, a two-time SEA Games gold medalist, made his Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, losing in the round of 16. Now, Ladon is hoping to punch a ticket to Paris in what could be his final bid for a second Olympic stint.

Lozano is the son of Rafael Sr. who bagged a bronze at the 1996 Olympics and silver at the 2000 edition. Rafael Sr. lost to Onyok Velasco in the 1996 semifinals and beat Danilo Lerio in the prelims in 2000. Lozano, a 2022 World Youth semifinalist and 2024 European Elite quarterfinalist, checks in with a record of 12-10, including two stoppages. Ladon’s record is 45-23, with five KOs.

“Rogen will need to win four bouts,” said ABAP secretary-general Marcus Manalo. “I think we had a good draw overall. Pitt (Laurente) has the most challenging route since his first bout is against Mukhammedsabyr Bazarbay Uulu of Kazakhstan but I fully believe in his capability to get it done. Hergie (Bacyadan) needs to win three. As I’ve expressed before, these four have very good chances of qualifying.” The fourth hopeful Carlo Paalam battled Greece’s Alexei Lagkazasvili at 57kg yesterday.  Tomorrow, Laurente swings into action against Uulu at 63.5kg and on Monday, Bacyadan faces Spain’s Dunia Mas Martinez at 75kg.

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