PH boxer Rogen Ladon says Olympic gold always in his mind

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RIO DE JANEIRO – Boxer Rogen Ladon, who hardly shows his emotions inside and outside the ring, is focused on just one thing as he competes in his first Olympics: the gold medal.

There’s nothing else in the mind of this 22-year-old native of Bago City, also the birthplace of 1996 Atlanta Olympics silver medalist Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco.

“Nasa isip ko yan palagi,” said Ladon, referring to the thought of winning the gold medal for the Philippines in the boxing competitions featuring the best in the world.

Ladon, a light-flyweight like Velasco, feels good heading to the competition that begins on Aug. 6 or the day after the opening ceremony.

The boxing draw is scheduled Aug. 5.

“Masaya ako pag iniisip ko ang laban (I’m happy when I think of the competition),” said Ladon, joined here by Filipino lightweight Charly Squarez.

The two boxers have decent chances of winning medals here.

“Nasa isip ko palagi na mananalo ako ng gold medal. Pag hindi mo kasi sinapuso yan, walang mangyayari (I always think of winning the gold. If you don’t take it to heart, nothing will happen),” he said.

“Claim mo na agad ang gold. Claim mo na sa iyo yan (Claim the gold like it’s already yours),” added Ladon.

Regardless of whom he is bracketed with, the 22-year-old will give his best from the opening bell to the final bell.

Suarez, considered as the team leader within the national boxing team, aired the same thought, saying in Olympic boxing, there’s no time to slow down.

“Start to finish yan,” he said.

Ladon, who’s been with the national team for only seven years, already has an idea on the boxers whom he would face in the 49 kg division.

“Madami malakas. (There are strong ones),” he said, referring to boxers from Kazakhstan, Russia and Cuba.

“Yan ang mga bigatin (Those are the heavyweights),” he said.