Sunday, April 02, 2023  |


Charly Suarez, 2016 Philippine Olympian, wins pro debut

Photo from Team Suarez
Fighters Network

Charly Suarez, the 2016 Olympian from the Philippines, made his long awaited professional debut, knocking out Ernesto Cagampang in two rounds.

The fight took place Wednesday, January 16 at Tablon, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, with Suarez, 30, attacking the taller Cagampang (2-1, 2 KOs) from the opening bell.

Suarez’s body shots did the most damage, and he Cagampang went down for the count early in the second from a combination along the ropes.

“I’m super excited; it’s like I went back to being 21 years old because of my joy that many were there,” said Suarez, who weighed 132 pounds and his opponent was 133.

“Some even traveled 7 hours or 10 hours.”

Suarez is now managed and trained by Delfin Boholst, who himself had also been a member of the Philippine national amateur team, and Boholst even serves as one of his sparring partners.

Suarez first made the national team since 2003 after winning gold at that year’s National Open. He made his debut at the World Championships in 2007 at Chicago, and narrowly missed the 2012 Olympics, falling one win short in the Asian qualifiers.

He made it to the Rio Games but lost a razor-thin split decision to Great Britain’s Joe Cordina in his opening match.

Among Suarez’s other amateur laurels include gold medals at the 2009 and 2011 and a 2017 bronze at the Southeast Asian Games, plus a silver at the 2014 Asian Games. Suarez was left off the Asian Games roster in 2017 and missed ten months after the Olympics due to a shoulder injury.

In 2012, while competing in the AIBA World Series of Boxing as a member of the Dolce & Gabbana Italia Thunder, Suarez faced Vasiliy Lomachenko, lasting the five-round distance on five days of notice with two injured shoulders.

Suarez had spent a brief time at the Survival Camp in Cavite province training with fellow Olympian and cousin Mark Anthony Barriga and IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, but split from that camp along with Barriga and Boholst shortly after Barriga’s loss to Carlos Licona for the IBF strawweight title on the Wilder-Fury card in December.

Suarez says his second fight will be in his hometown of Panabo City, Philippines on February 17.