BOXING: RP BAGS LONE GOLD IN 14-NATION TOURNAMENT

KAUNAS, Lithuania, May 19, 2003 (STAR) - Arlan Lerio pounded 2002 European champion Chacigov Chavazi of Bulgaria into submission Sunday in an overpowering performance that earned him the bantamweight gold in the seventh A. Socikas International Boxing Tournament here.

Lerio, who withheld his plans to turn professional for the sake of flag and country, was all over his opponent when the referee stopped the contest in the second round, giving the Philippines a lone gold in the 14-nation tournament.

A veteran of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Lerio was also adjudged the tournamentís best fighter as he signified his readiness to represent the country in the 22nd Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam this December.

Lerioís victory came after a painful 8-5 loss by Harry Tanamor against Ivan Stapovic of Lithuania in the lightflyweight finals. Stapovic suffered a broken nose in the early rounds but Tanamor failed to pounce on it as the referee halted the bout four times to protect the local bet.

Despite the loss, Tanamor left the ring with his head held high, considering that he was fighting in a heavier division. He will revert to lightfly when the Filipinos see action in two more tournaments in Greece and Spain in the coming days.

Lithuania, the host, won seven gold medals with Russia, Belgium, Ukraine and the Philippines winning one apiece


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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