Paul Bascon, Boxing
The Philippines' Paul Bascon was on the receiving end of a controversial stoppage by referee Tina Poletan during the 2022 ASBC Championships in Amman, Jordan. Screen Capture


  • Filipino lightweight Paul Bascon made his international debut last November 4
  • Bascon was waved off by referee Tina Poletan despite looking ready to compete
  • Philippine boxing authorities lamented the outcome that befell the young prospect

The boxing community in the Philippines is up in arms after amateur boxer Paul Julyfer Bascon was incorrectly counted out during his international debut at the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) Championships 2022 in Amman, Jordan.

Bascon squared off against Uzbekistan's Adkhamjon Mukhiddinov on Friday, November 4 in the eighth session of the tournament and was keeping in step against his opponent for the better part of two minutes.

A few moments later, the 25-year-old from Davao del Norte, Philippines lost his balance after running into a glancing blow from the Uzbek as the latter loaded up a powerful left, causing the Filipino to fall to the mat but immediately got up.

Referee Tina Poletan of Bosnia & Herzegovina gave Bascon a mandatory eight-count and had the Filipino quickly looking to his corner for instruction as if he was wondering whether it should have been counted as a knockdown.

However, Poletan waved off the Filipino lightweight despite Bascon looking ready to keep fighting making it another controversial outcome in the sport of amateur boxing and the Filipino receiving a loss by way of referee stopped contest (RSC).

Association Boxing of the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Marcus Manalo, who was with the Philippine contingent in Jordan, described the outcome with much disbelief.

"Bascon was landing clean punches and was confident that he was controlling the fight. The stoppage happened in the first round, which makes it even more disappointing because it was Bascon's first international tournament. He was really looking forward to this," Manalo said as quoted by Spin.

Manalo later revealed that he had spoken with the technical delegate after the affair and it was explained to him that the referee, Poletan, saw the eyes of Bascon "not looking alright" and told him that the "safety of the boxers is the top priority."

"I disagreed, told him to watch the video again. There were no signs of Bascon not being alright. We all make mistakes but that was a blatant one and uncharacteristic from a three-star referee-judge," Manalo stated.

Outspoken British IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards called Poletan a "[expletive] clueless referee" before later adding that "amateur boxing is more rotten than professional."

ABAP president Ed Picson had a lot to say in his statement to The Ring.

"This is, to say the least, unfortunate. At a time when amateur boxing is teetering on the brink of irrelevance in the Olympic program, this kind of inexplicable decision by the referee sends the wrong message. The situation is crying out to be addressed as soon as possible," Picson said as quoted.

Amateur boxing is already on thin ice after it was revealed in April that the sport will not be an Olympic staple after Paris 2024, and its inclusion in future events will only be on a case-to-case basis.

As for Bascon, all he can do now is to compete in other competitions–the next event likely being the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May 2023.

Paul Bascon
Paul Bascon of the Philippines at the ASBC Championships in Amman, Jordan. ABAP