Olympics: Carlo Paalam earns split-decision win over Irish foe

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TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Brendan Irvine (R) of Ireland exchanges punches with Carlo Paalam of Philippines during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 26: Brendan Irvine (R) of Ireland exchanges punches with Carlo Paalam of Philippines during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena on July 26, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Filipino boxer Carlo Paalam punched his ticket to the Round of 16 after edging out Brendan Irvine of Ireland in the men's flyweight division in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Kokugikan Arena on Monday (July 26). 

In his Summer Games debut, Paalam overcame the experience gap between him and Irvine, a two-time Olympian, to win via a 4-1 split decision.  

Four judges scored the bout, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, in his favor while the other one gave it to his Irish foe, 28-29.  

The Cagayan de Oro native went with an aggressive approach right from the get go as he pummeled his way to an early advantage before keeping Irvine at bay in the last two rounds.  

Paalam will now advance to the Round of 16 slated on Saturday (July 31), where he is set to take on Mohammed Flissi of Algeria. 

He is the third Philippine-bred boxer to barge into the next round of competition following Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno.  

Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.

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