By Adrian Stewart Co
Ilonggo Philip Delarmino bagged the World Muaythai Council Asian featherweight title after an upset win over hometown bet Zakaria Eljamari on Friday night (Saturday in the Philippines) at the Festival Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Dumangas, Iloilo-native Delarmino was efficient with his hits from start to finish to emerge as the unanimous decision winner over Eljamari and snatch the latter’s championship belt.
“I’m happy that all my sacrifices have paid off,” the Ilonggo said after the match. “There was really no secret to success. You really just have to work hard every day and also to pray.”
The 31-year-old Delarmino added that his match against Eljamari also served as part of his preparation when he competes in the 2021 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games later this year in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Delarmino, the team captain of Team Bagsik national muaythai team, was a gold medal winner in the muaythai competition of the 2019 SEA Games held in the Philippines.
The Ilonggo muaythai standout captured the biennial games’ gold medal in the men’s -57 kilogram division after defeating the much experienced Long Doan Nguyen in the finals.
Prior to his success two years ago, Delarmino suffered SEA Games heartbreaks as he settled for a silver medal finish in 2013 and failed to advance to the medal round in 2017.
Delarmino clinched a silver medal in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan and he was also a silver medalist during the 2014 Asian Beach Games./ASC, WDJ