SEA Games: Philippines rule Asean boxing with 5 golds, S'pore in best showing since '93

SINGAPORE - Filipino boxers delivered a bumper haul of five golds and three silvers on the final day of SEA Games boxing competition at the Singapore Expo Hall 1 on Tuesday.

Vietnam (three golds) and Thailand (two golds) were the next best countries with three and two golds to show for their efforts respectively.

Vietnam's strong showing was the main factor stopping the Philippines from winning even more gold medals, as their female flyweight and bantamweight fighters Nguyen Thi Yen and Le Thi Bang scored narrow split decision victories over Filipino counterparts in Irish Magno and Nesthy Petecio respectively.

Meanwhile, Filipino boxers Ian Clark Bautista and Eumir Felix Marcial earned their golden rewards against the first boxing finalists for Singapore since 1993, with Mohamed Hanurdeen Hamid and Tay Jia Wei the silver medallists in the men's flyweight and welterweight categories respectively.

Hanurdeen, 21, sported a large bruise near his left eye from his semi-final victory over Maung Nge of Myanmar, but took the fight to Bautista, roared on by huge home support twirling banners and flags.

However, Bautista's aggressive style drove Hanurdeen to the ropes several times throughout the bout, eventually edging the gold medal to him by split decision.

A crestfallen Hanurdeen said: "I'm happy with my performance, but I sacrificed so much for this, and to just miss out on the gold hurts."

Tay, 20, started aggressively against 2011 junior world champion Eumir Felix Marcial but was outfoxed by the Filipino's longer reach and took a huge straight to the jaw early in the second round from which he would not recover, eventually losing by knockout.

With bronze medallists in female debutantes Leona Hui and Ang Fen Ni as well as male bantamweight Muhammad Ridhwan Ahmad and light welterweight fighter Leong Jun Hao, boxing's final haul of two silvers and four bronzes is the most they have gathered since a showing of one silver and seven bronzes in 1993.

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