Filipino boxer Charly Suarez, who competed in the Rio Olympics, will have to defend his regional titles and continue to climb the rank of the super featherweight division to get a shot to fight for a world championship.
Suarez, who hails from Davao del Norte, has firmly established himself as a formidable contender in the super featherweight division, delivering a stunning performance against local boxer Paul “Showtime” Fleming on March 15, 2023, at Sydney’s Kevin Betts Stadium. In the 12th round, Suarez secured a technical knockout (TKO), highlighting his exceptional skills and strength.
In a remarkable display of boxing prowess, the 34-year-old fighter emerged victorious and claimed the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Inter-Continental super featherweight, World Boxing Association (WBA) Oceania super featherweight, and World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian Boxing Council super featherweight titles from Fleming.
The Filipino fighter also successfully defended his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Asia super featherweight championship belt.
The match between Suarez and Fleming was a highly anticipated clash of unbeaten fighters, with Fleming seemingly ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
However, in a stunning turn of events, Suarez unleashed a crushing counter left hook that sent the hometown favorite crashing to the canvas. Despite bravely rising to his feet, Fleming was unable to withstand Suarez’s relentless onslaught of combinations, leading the referee to halt the bout at 1 minute and 58 seconds into the 12th round.
Many Filipino boxing fans expressed their disappointment on social media after seeing the judges’ scorecards with Fleming leading before the knockout came in the 12th round.
According to Boxrec, all three judges, Dean Cambridge, Mick Heafey, and Richard Israel, scored the bout in favor of Fleming, with scores of 106-103, 107-102, and 108-101, respectively.
It’s worth noting that all three judges are Australian, which may have influenced their scoring. However, Suarez’s stunning left hook in the 12th round secured him the victory by technical knockout, sparing him from a controversial decision based on the judges’ scorecards.
Suarez’s victory proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the super featherweight division.
His triumph in Sydney earned him a warm welcome upon his return to Manila. The 15-0, nine-KO fighter earned the respect of soldier-athletes in NAIA, who gave him a hero’s welcome. Suarez’s victory over Fleming put him in line for a bout against IBO super-featherweight champion Anthony Cacace, further elevating his status as a world-class fighter.
Suarez, on his Facebook, paid tribute to his faith, family, team, sponsors, and supporters.
He emphasized that his win was not just his, but a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Filipino people.
“I would like to honor my fellow warrior Paul Flemming, you gave me an absolute war on the ring and I thank you for making me grind as hard as I did. To my team, just seeing the growth that we have achieved is a joy. Let is keep on keeping on in reaching our goals,” he added.
Suarez’s words were a powerful reminder that with faith and perseverance, anyone can overcome the obstacles and tests that come with pursuing their dreams.