Pity the Philippines for not being able to send somebody to the medal podium in the boxing competitions of the London Olympics.
Only 17 countries are assured of at least a bronze medal in the sport. Seven from the Asian continent made it to the medal round, including Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand.
Kazakhstan, a rising power, sent three into the medal round, two each came from Japan, Azerbaijan and Mongolia while one apiece were sent by China, South Korea and Uzbekistan.
China’s lone bet is light-flyweight wonder Zou Shiming.
Light-flyweight Kaeon Pongprayoon of Thailand, who is in his first Olympics, beat giant-killer Aleksandr Alexandrov of Bulgaria, 16-10, in the quarterfinals.
The 32-year-old Pongprayoon, according to his Cuban coach Omar Malagon, followed the instructions to the letter.
Pongprayoon took the gold medal in the 2009 and 2011 Southeast Asian Games and earned a spot in the final four after wins over Algerian Mohammed Flissi and Ecuadorian Carlos Quipo.
Pongprayoon is set to meet David Arpetyan of Azerbaijan for a slot in the finals, while Shiming faces Paddy Barnes of Ireland in the other pairing.
Interestingly, Mark Anthony Barriga, who exited in the round-of-16 in the same division, had beaten Pongprayoon and Barnes previously.
But it was clear that those wins by Barriga hardly made a dent in the respective buildups of the Thai and the Irish punchers.
Look who’s not going home empty-handed?