By CARLO ANOLIN
Expect Manny Pacquiao to continue cheering on flyweight Olympic boxer Carlo Paalam when he competes in the gold medal match against Galal Yafai of Great Britain at the Kokugikan Arena today.
The Filipino boxing legend paid homage to Paalam and middleweight boxer Eumir Felix Marcial during their respective semifinal matches Thursday, Aug. 5.
Pacquiao took to Twitter his excitement, leaving good words and salutations both for Paalam and Marcial.
Last year, Marcial signed a six-year promotional contract as a professional boxer with Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions last July 2020.
“Fight for Gold, Carlo Paalam! We are rooting for you,” tweeted the 42-year-old Pacquiao, who will return to action on Aug. 21 against unified WBC and IBF welterweight Errol Spence Jr.
“Thank you, Eumir Marcial for giving your best! Your Olympic effort was solid gold. The two of you make us very proud!”
Paalam, 23, advanced to the gold medal match after dominating Japanese foe Ryomei Tanaka while Marcial, 25, settled for bronze after yielding to Ukrainian slugger Oleksandr Khyzhniak.
Paalam’s final opponent, Yafai, who barged into the Round of 16 as a light-flyweight contender in the 2016 Rio Games, has won bronze (2019) and silver medals (2017) in the European Games and a gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Philippine boxing team has already secured three Olympic medals in Tokyo as Paalam, the newest sporting star from Cagayan de Oro, shoots for the country’s first gold in the sport.
Nesthy Petecio, 29, earlier bagged silver medal after losing to Japanese fighter Sena Irie in their women’s featherweight finals duel.
Irish Magno, 30, for her part, was booted out early after bowing down to Thai foe Jitpong Jutamas in their Round of 16 women’s flyweight match.