Marcial, 3 other Pinoy pugs settle for bronze in ASBC Asian Elite Championships

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | May 29,2021 - 05:41 PM

Tokyo Olympics-bound Filipino boxer Eumir Marcial. | Photo from Chooks-to-Go Media Bureau

CEBU CITY, Philippines –Eumir Felix Marcial and three other Filipino boxers settled for bronze medals on Friday evening, May 28, in the ASBC Asian Elite Championships in Dubai, UAE.

The 25-year Marcial lost, 0-5, to Uzbek boxer Saidjamshid Jafarov in the semifinals of the middleweight division.

The loss, however, did not affect Marcial’s Tokyo Olympics stint as he has already qualified for the quadrennial games this August after dominating the middleweight division of the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in March of last year.

Marcial, from Zamboanga City, has been hogging the sports headlines lately for airing his disgust over the alleged lack of financial support given to national athletes like him.

Recently, he got the support of Chooks-to-Go Philippines for his training for the Olympics.

Marcial also turned pro and brought his immense talents to the United States. He made his  US pro debut in December of 2020, beating American Andrew Whitfield via unanimous decision in four rounds.

Meanwhile, the other Filipino boxers who salvaged bronze medals in the ASBC Championships were flyweight Mark Lester Durens and bantamweight contender Junmilardo Ogayre.

Durens lost to Kazakhstan’s Daniyal Sabit to settle for bronze while Ogayre bowed down to Mirazizbek Mirzalilov of Uzbekistan.

Former AIBA women’s world champion Josie Gabuco also lost her semifinal fight against Uzbekistan’s Gulasal Sultonalieva, 1-4, last Thursday to bring home the country’s third bronze medal.

Despite the failure of the Pinoy boxers to win golds, Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP) secretary-general Ed Picson said that it could be the result of ring rust for not having a single fight in a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Considering that this was our boxers’ first competitive exercise in over a year, the results were not particularly worrisome. We had mostly new guys in the lineup because our top-tier boxers are in Thailand, so four bronze medals in an Asian championship is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Picson in a press release from ABAP.

ABAP president Ricky Vargas also issued a statement to address a deluge of inquiries regarding Marcial’s loss especially since the Olympics is just around the corner.

In his statement, Vargas said that there will be adjustments regarding the preparations of the Tokyo-bound Marcial.

“I think this should be a wake-up call for all concerned, not just to Marcial.”

“We all need to be united behind our four boxers in their quest for Olympic glory. Aside from Marcial, we believe Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio, and Carlo Paalam have equal chances to perform well in Tokyo.”

Vargas also revealed that they will have a 10-week program as their final preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

One of the programs is sending Marcial to a multi-nation training camp in Colorado Springs in the US.

“We have arranged for Marcial to participate in a multi-nation training camp in Colorado Springs, the home of Olympic boxing in the USA. This is the milieu that he needs to be training under,” Vargas stated.

“USA Boxing is also graciously assisting us in getting visas for our three other Olympians and our coaches to the Colorado Springs camp.”

Magno, Petecio, and Paalam are also expected to follow Marcial to Colorado Springs.  /rcg

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TAGS: ASBC Asian Elite Championships, bronze medals, Dubai, Eumir Marcial, Josie Gabuco, Junmilardo Ogayre, Mark Lester Durens, Tokyo Olympics, UAE

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