AMMAN. — Featherweight Ian Clark Bautista upset fancied Japanese Hayato Tsutumi, winning a close 3-2 decision on Tuesday night at the start of the Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament at the Prince Hamza Hall here.
A Navy enlisted man, Bautista, 25, peppered Tsutumi with body shots in the first round but trailed 2-3 against the former world and Asian Youth champion at the end of the round.
The Negros Occidental pride rallied in the remaining rounds for the close triumph, setting him up for a grudge match with Thai No. 3 seed Chatchai Butdee in the next round.
Butdee beat Bautista in the semifinals on the way to clinching the gold in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last December.
“Talagang nag-focus ako sa laban na ito. Malakas at magaling talaga siya pero talagang pinilit ko. Alam ko pagkakataon na para makapunta sa Olympics,” Bautista said after the hard-fought match.
Scheduled to fight last night was world amateur women’s featherweight champion Nesthy Petecio, who drew a bye in the opening round as the top seed in her weight class. Her opponent as Sri Lanka’s Kirisimi Langkapurayalage,
Teammate Riza Pasuit, a SEA Games silver medalist, was also up against Japanese Saya Hamamoto in a lightweight clash.