On Sunday, Filipino boxer Irish Magno made a big splash in her Olympic debut and gave the Philippines another big win heading into the 2020 Tokyo Games (July 25).
I. Magno Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
In the women’s flyweight division, Magno won a unanimous decision in the 32nd round against Christine Ongare of Kenya at the Kokugikan Arena.
With scores of 30-27 from four judges and 30-26 from the fifth, the Filipino fighter thoroughly dominated her Kenyan opponent throughout the entire three rounds.
The 29-year-old Magno, who was born in Janiuay, Iloilo, advances to Thursday’s round of 16.
After Nesthy Petecio’s unanimous decision victory over Congo’s Sakobi Matshu Marcelat the day before, she becomes the second boxer from the Philippines to advance to the next round of competition.
Ohmer Bautista is a Filipino flyweight who has worked as a sports journalist covering both domestic and international events. The Philippines lost their first boxing match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Thursday when Irish Magno was defeated by rising Thai Jutamas Jitpong in the last-16.
When the final bell rang after three rounds, Magno had been thoroughly trounced by the happy Jitpong, who went on to win the bout by a unanimous points decision.
Magno, despite her best efforts, was repeatedly countered by the Thai at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Hall.
Jitpong, a professional with a 5–2 record, advances to the quarterfinals to face Buse Naz Cakiroglu of Turkey, a former European Games gold medalist.
Out of the four Filipino boxers Competing at the Tokyo Olympics, Magno was the First to be Eliminated.
On Saturday, July 31, world champion Nesthy Petecio will compete in the women’s featherweight semifinal, Carlo Paalam will continue in the men’s flyweight round of 16, and on Sunday, August 1, Eumir Marcial will fight in the quarterfinals of the men’s middleweight division after winning via referee stoppage.
By winning the box-off for one of the six Olympic places in the women’s flyweight event in the Asia and Oceania qualifications, Magno became the first Filipina boxer to ever do so.
Magno had a tough time closing the gap on Jitpong, who ultimately won by unanimous decision thanks to his shrewd counterattacks.
At Kokugikan Arena, Magno won by unanimous decision despite being outscored by her opponent. This helped to heal the shattered hearts of Filipinos who had been devastated by the loss of highly-favored gymnast Carlos Yulo the night before.
After smothering her opponent with combinations that coach Don Abnett referred to as their “bread-and-butter” tactic, expectations for Magno and her team were bound to rise.
Ongare, who is ranked 17 places higher than Magno, remarked, “I gave my best but I battled a superb fighter.”
Magno quickly found her range, letting the Filipino to punish Ongare with head shots after clearing body shots that pierced the Japanese defender’s barriers.
Ongare, confused by Magno’s onslaught, was helpless to defend himself. All three judges agreed that Magno won each round, and one even gave the Filipino a 10-8 in the third.