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Carlo Paalam to press ahead with medal bid vs Japanese

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Uzbekistan's Shakhobidin Zoirov (red) and Philippines' Carlo Paalam fight during their men's fly (48-52kg) quarter-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021.

Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov (red) and Philippines’ Carlo Paalam fight during their men’s fly (48-52kg) quarter-final boxing match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / POOL / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines–Filipino flyweight bet Carlo Paalam vows to go further in the Tokyo Olympics’ boxing event by doing things his way and at his pace.

And not even the sight of his next foe being helped out of Kokugikan Arena on a wheelchair will make his ease up on his accelerated pace.

“I was able to see him in the room since we were both on the blue corner [today], and I think he’s doing OK,” Paalam said of his next foe, Ryomei Tanaka, during a chat with Filipino reporters in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday.

Tanaka made his way out of the competition area using a wheelchair in a photograph taken by Spin editor Eduardo Catacutan Jr. right after the Japanese won his quarterfinal duel against the much more assertive and aggressive Yuberjen Herney Martinez Rivas of Colombia.

Paalam, 23, and now assured at least of a bronze medal, quashed the thought that he could be entering Thursday’s battle with an edge.

“I would not say I’m advantaged,” the scavenger-turned-boxer said. “We both have great hands.”
There is, one thing, that he continues to believe in—and that is the mantra that has gotten him this far in the Summer Games.

“I’ve told myself to just keep doing my best and do things my way—taking things slowly until I reach the end,” he said, hoping to get to the final medal round, where he could join weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz turning in an Olympic gold medal.

“I won’t say anything more, but will finish this,” Paalam said.

Paalam and Tanaka slug it out at 1:30 p.m.

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