Carlo Paalam cruised into the quarterfinals of the men's flyweight division with a unanimous decision win over Mohamed Flissi of Algeria in the Round of 16 of the boxing competition at the at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Paalam won every round for a perfect 30-27 score on all five judges' scorecards.
Paalam gamely traded punches Flissi in Round 1 and tagged the Algerian several times en route to a sweep of the round on all five judges' scorecards. In Round 2, Paalam unleashed his left hook repeatedly and again dominated the action for another clean sweep of all five judges' cards.
It was more of the same in the third round as Paalam is now just one win away from a podium finish.
In his way stands 2016 flyweight gold medalist Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan, who also won the gold medal in the 2019 world championships before turning pro. Zoirov, who has a 3-0 pro record, posted a similar 5-0 sweep of Daniel David Varela dela Pina of Cape Verde in their round of 16 match.
Paalam said he was up for the challenge.
"We both have fists, we both trained. It will come down to confidence, strategy and self-belief," he remarked in Filipino. "(Zoirov) is very good and an Olympic champion. But I'll give it my best."