Harry qualifies for Beijing

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Light-flyweight Harry Tañamor qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics by beating Sherali Dostiev of Tajikistan while making the quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championships Wednesday here.

The 29-year-old Tañamor and his foe battled to a 4-4 deadlock at the end of the four-round bout, but the Filipino fighter was adjudged the winner by virtue of being the aggressive fighter.

The two other Pinoy boxes did not fare as well as flyweight Violito Payla and lightweight Genebert Basadre, lost to superior opponents.

Payla bowed to hometown bet Rau’shee Warren in a surprisingly lopsided, 11-25 score while Basadre got beaten by Armenian Hrachik Javakyan, 6-17.

Tañamor, a member of the RP-PLDT-Smart boxing team, whooped it up with coaches Pat Gaspi and Ronald Chavez following the decision at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion.

“Dostiev was looking for the smallest opener to score. He was very, very cautious and I have to beat him on his own game. I’m really happy to win this one,” said Tañamor., who also saw action during the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games.

Tanamor’s guns for a semifinals berth on Thursday (Friday in Manila) against Pan American Games gold medallist Luis Yanez, who earlier scored a Referee-Stopped- Contest- compulsory count limit over Australian Stephen Sutherland.

It was clear right from the opening bell that both boxers were not in the mood to mix it up. They sized each other all throughout with Tañamor throwing the occasional left straights against Dostiev, who seemed contended in putting a lot of distance for fear of being hit.

At the end of the first round, the score stood at 0-0. Tanamor took the upperhand, 2-1 on two left straights.

Bored with the lack of action despite an early caution, the referee decided to penalize both fighters, giving Tañamor a slim 4-3 lead but a Dostiev right straight tied the count at 4-4 in the final 33 seconds of the bout.

Payla didn’t have a chance against Warren, who became the first American boxer in 30 years to be able to compete in two Olympics.

Payla trailed behind 1-9 at the end of second round and was behind 3-13 halfway through the match. The sizeable crowd of Filipino fans, however, boo the judges as Payla took the initiative with his left crosses but could not score.

“He (Payla) gave it his best shot. He made scoring punches that weren’t counted during his comeback,” said a disappointed Gaspi.

Basadre failed to gain ground against the Armenian, who took control with an early 9-0 lead.

Payla, Basadre and bantamweight Joan Tipon try to qualify anew for the Olympics when they see action in the Asian qualifying in January in Bangkok, Thailand.