Marcial earns ticket to Tokyo Olympics

Eumir Felix Marcial cemented his reputation as one of the powerful boxers in the business as he stopped Mongolian Byamba Erdene Otgonbaatar in 3 rounds of their quarterfinal round match Sunday evening in the Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualification Tournament at the Prince Hamzeh International Hall here.

Marcial, 24, peppered his foe with hard left straights and right hooks to the face and body, forcing the referee to give the Mongolian two standing 8-counts in the third round before finally calling a halt to the fight.

“Natupad na rin ang pangarap namin ng Papa ko mula nung bata pa ako (I finally achieved my father’s dream since I was a kid),” an emotional Marcial sobbed after the fight.

Marcial, gold winner in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December last year, expressed his appreciation to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) chairman Manny Pangilinan and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) president Ricky Vargas, and his coaches headed by Ronald Chavez.

“Apat na taon kong hinintay ito matapos na hindi ako naka qualify nung 2016 dahil sa injury. Kaya napakatamis nito. Lalo ko pang dodoblehin ang training ko para makuha ko ang talagang target namin ng Papa ko- ang ginto sa Olympics (I waited for this for four years after I failed to qualify in 2016 due to an injury. This is very sweet. I will fully train to get my and my father's target -- the Olympic gold),” Marcial said.

Marcial’s father, Eulalio, who still trains young boxers in their hometown of Zamboanga City, was his first trainer.

On Monday, world featherweight champion Nesthy Petecio attempts to join Marcial as she faces an old adversary, Japan’s Sena Irie. The two have each won one match against the other, the last one by Petecio at the World Championships in Russia October of last year.

Flyweight Irish Magno and lightweight Riza Pasuit are also one win away from an Olympic slot.

Magno has a tall order as she goes up against 5-time World Champion Meri Kom of India, while Pasuit faces the No. 3 seed in her division, Wu Yi-Shih of Chinese-Taipei.

Likewise, 21-year old Carlo Paalam has a score to settle with Amit of India in their own flyweight tussle for an Olympic berth. The Indian boxer won close decisions against the Cagayan de Oro native in the 2018 Asian Games and in the World Championships last year.

Source: Philippines News Agency