Paul Bascon had a memorable debut at the Southeast Asian Games as he clinched gold in the men’s lightweight (under-60 kg) division of the 32nd edition.
He achieved this with a come-from-behind split decision victory over Thailand’s Rujakran Juntrong on Sunday at the Chroy Changvar Convention Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
This victory marked boxing’s third gold in the Games and the 41st overall for the country.
Bascon previously suffered a controversial referee-stop-contest decision loss in his international debut at last year’s Asian Elite Boxing Championships. Here, he had to rally against Juntrong after the Thai secured the judges’ votes in the first round.
The 25-year-old from Davao Del Norte adjusted his strategies in the second round, earning the majority of points from three judges.
These same judges awarded him the third and final round, ultimately granting him his first-ever SEA Games gold in his debut.
Bascon’s gold medal win in the men’s lightweight division added to the Philippines’ boxing success. The team has now surpassed the modest two-gold haul from the previous edition in Hanoi.