Charly Suarez overcame a tough challenge from Thailand’s Khunatip Pidnuch to reign supreme in the 30th Southeast Asian Games boxing men’s lightweight division Monday at the PICC Forum.
The 31-year-old has now won his third SEA games gold medal. He won the featherweight crown in 2011, then seized the lightweight title in the following edition of the biennial meet.
“Itong nangyari unexpected. Gift form God talaga. Ito ‘yung pinaka-blessing sa akin sa taon na ‘to. ‘Yung hindi lang makapagbigay karangalan kundi gintong medalya sa bansa,” he expressed.
Suarez struggled a bit in the opening round, as his Thai counterpart showed aggressiveness. Fortunately, though, he picked up steam in the following round, staggering Pidnuch at the 2:37 mark.
That then got him going in the match, so much so that Pidnuch received a standing eight-count from the referee. The latter was slowed down, although he was never knocked down until the end.
“‘Yung kalaban matibay kasi kahit anong tama ko na malakas, gumegewang lang. Challenge talaga,” he said.
This win only made Suarez feel satisfied with his decision to come back to the amateur ranks after trying his mettle in the professional level, where he had already fought thrice earlier this year.
The Philippines now has five gold medals to boast of thanks to Suarez’ victory.