By Cip D.C. Cabrera
WBA super featherweight champion Charly Suarez throws a left jab against his opponent in this file photo courtesy of The Manila Times.
PARAÑAQUE CITY, Metro Manila — To successfully defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia super featherweight crown, Rio Olympian and 2009, 2011 and 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Charly Suarez had to recover from his early round woes to beat fellow Filipino boxer Mark John Yap at the Elorde Sports Complex here.
The 33-year-old Suarez encountered a stiff fight against Yap who bombarded him with jabs and hooks to the body, but talent eventually proved a big plus to the champion’s advantage as his challenger to win via unanimous decision, 120-108, 120-108, 118-110, and stay undefeated.
It was midway through the ring battle that the pride of Davao del Norte found his footing midway and began to dominate the 5-foot-6 Yap during which he opened up a cut beneath his foe’s right eye following a streaking left hook coupled with a quick right straight.
Yap kept on fighting, though, and Suarez had to assert his firm control down the stretch of the bout, fending off the Cagayan de Oro native fighter’s attack with left-right combinations and nifty counter attacks.
“It was a great learning experience for me. This fight taught me how to be patient and be tactical when facing a resilient boxer like Yap,” Suarez enthused after the successful defense of his championship belt, the first since he won it in March.
On turning pro, the SEAG gold medalist knocked out compatriot Tomjune Mangubat in the 12th round of their WBA Asia super featherweight collision five months ago and in June, he then defeated another fellow Pinoy pug in Junny Salogaol via unanimous decision. (ai/mtvn)