Out of the five Filipinos that made it to the final day of the 30th Southeast Asian Games’ Muaythai competition, Ryan Jakiri had the most impressive run.
During the 63.5kg-division semifinals bout, the 27-year-old quickly dispatched Indonesia’s Irvan Putra to set up a showdown with Thai fighter Norapat Khundam.
Against Khundam, Jakiri — who is also competing in ONE Championship’s Super Series — was dominant to start off the contest.
“Binasa ko talaga laro niya kasi kayang-kaya ko laruin laro niya,” said the native of Zamboanga City, who won bronze in the 2017 Games in Kuala Lumpur.
“Nung second round, alam ko hahabol ‘yun. At kung hahabol sa ‘kin, pero alam ko na gagawin ko dun.”
During the first round and early part of the second stanza, Khundam could not get a clean hit. However, with 1:26 left in the round, Jakiri got caught by the Thai in a plum. A knee by the visitor knocked down Jakiri.
What came after was controversial.
“‘Di ko nagustuhan ‘yung pag-stoppage sa’ kin kasi wala pang eight counts, inistop niya na ‘yung laban. Eh nagpapahinga muna ako kasi may eight counts. ‘Di pa sya umabot ng eight counts!” rued Jakiri, who was able to get back up.
“Hindi siya nakatingin sa ‘kin. Hindi niya ako tinatanong kung kaya ko pa o hindi.”
And as German referee Jean Wilke waved off the fight, Jakiri’s golden dreams shattered.
Though officials of the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines put up a protest, the result can no longer be overturned.
And Jakiri believes that the Thais had a hand in it, as a win by Jakiri would’ve given the hosts three golds and the overall championship in the sport.
“Wala na, wala na tayo magawa kasi parang na-mafia tayo.
“Ayaw nila na tayo maging number one sa muay thai kasi kung nakuha ko ‘yung gold na ‘yun overall kami. Kitang-kita naman kayang-kaya ko kalaban ko,” he rued.
Now, the only justice Jakiri can get is if the referee gets sanctioned by the sports’ organizing body.