IN a seriously questionable decision, Filipino light flyweight Rogen Ladon was robbed of a chance to earn a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil when all three judges scored the fight in favor of Russia’s Vasilii Egorov late Sunday night at the Ali Hamad Al Attiya Arena in Doha, Qatar.
The Russian, who is also a southpaw like Ladon, kept boring in through all three rounds and was cautioned several times by Colombian referee Armando Carbonell. On one occasion, the TV cameras caught Ladon grimacing after a nasty head-butt which seemed to escape the notice of the three judges.
All three judges Jose Del Puerto Toquero of Cuba, Daniel McFarlane of Britain and Khas Erdene Gerardo Khishgee of Mongolia scored the bout 29-28 in favor of Egorov, eventhough Ladon connected with 1-2 combinations from the outside as he darted in-and-out like he did in his previous winning performances.
Boosted by the presence of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao when he faced No. 1 ranked Joselito Velazquez Altamirano of Mexico, Ladon missed the inspirational presence of his idol, who had to leave for the United States on Sunday to receive the prestigious “Game Changer of the Year” award from the international non-profit organization, Asia Society at a gala dinner-celebration at the United Nations in New York.
Ladon couldn’t get his game-plan against the Russian, who constantly bored in and wrestled the Filipino to earn what AIBA itself said was “an incredibly close decision” that painfully ended the Filipino’s remarkable World Campaign.
Egorov will now face Joshnys Argilagos in the finals after the Cuban defeated Ukraine’s Dmytro Zamotaev.
Not only did Ladon lose a coveted berth in the Olympic Games, he also lost a chance to win the P500,000 incentive promised by Pacquiao to the winner of a gold medal in Doha.
Fighting out of the red corner, Ladon was cautioned by coaches Boy Velasco and Romeo Brin to look out for the tendency of Egorov to bore in, leading with his head.
At the end of the fight, Egorov appeared to be somewhat surprised at the decision as his Russian coaches embraced him with joy as he stepped outside the ring.
Ladon began aggressively with 1-2 combinations, followed by a solid left hook while Egorov tried to tie him up and work to the body as he tried to bully his way against the Filipino, who was cautioned for whirling around.
As the Russian charged in with 34 seconds remained, Ladon connected with good counter-punches.
The same pattern continued through the next two rounds which all three
judges surprisingly scored for the Russian.
Delegation head, ABAP executive director Ed Picson himself said: “The wild swinging foe forced him to engage in close quarters after tying him up with some deft holding tactics.”
Picson and coaches Velasco and Brin “thought Rogen won it but in close fights such as this, you have to be prepared for the worst.”