WORLD AMATEUR BOXING: PAYLA ADVANCES TO Q'FINALS

VIOLITO PAYLABANGKOK, Julu 10, 2003 (Malaya)  - For the second straight night, Violito Payla held the fort for the Philippines by beating his Chinese opponent and barging into the quarterfinals of the World Amateur Boxing Championships Tuesday at the Nimibutr Gymnasium here.

Payla, a 24-year-old flyweight from Cagayan de Oro, again emerged as the savior of the RP Revicon Boxing Team when he whipped Zov Gang 33-21 to set up a medal bout against defending champion Jerome Thomas of France on Thursday.

Payla's victory softened the blow of a close 22-25 decision absorbed by bantamweight Arlan Lerio, an Olympic veteran, in his fight against Han Sung Moon of South Korea. The defeat left Lerio in the sidelines along with teammates Joegen Ladon and Florencio Ferrer.

Last Monday, Ladon absorbed a 27-18 decision from Frenchman Dangnoko Boubaker in the featherweight class while Ferrer was routed by Romanian Lon Dan 26-8 in the welterweight division. Ferrer opened his campaign with a stoppage win over a fighter from Bruneo last Sunday.

With the unexpected early exit of Lerio, the fate of the Philippine contingent, sent here by Revicon with support from the Philippine Sports Commission, Family Rubbing Alcohol, Accel and Pacific Heights, now rests on the shoulders of Payla and light flyweight Harry Taņamor.

"It will be a very tough uphill climb for the two. But I am confident the RP Revicon Team will not go homer without a medal," said Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines president Manny Lopez, head of the RP delegation here.

Taņamor, bronze medalist in the last edition of the tournament in Ireland in 2001, drew a first round bye and was set to fight Indonesian Bonix Saweho in the round-of-16 late Wednesday night.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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