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Eumir faces Viet ‘suki’


PhilBoxing.com





One down, four to go. That’s the countdown for lightheavyweight boxer Eumir Marcial in chasing gold in the 80kg division of the Hangzhou Asian Games. Last Sunday, Marcial opened his Asiad campaign with a bang, outpointing Mongolia’s Dalai Gonzorig, 5-0. It will take four more wins for Marcial to clinch a ticket to the Paris Olympics. His next opponent is Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Cuong on Friday.

Nguyen is a familiar foe. Twice, they battled in the SEA Games and twice, Marcial emerged victorious. In the 75kg quarterfinals of the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, Marcial pounded out a 5-0 verdict over Nguyen. They met again in the 75kg final of the 2019 Manila SEA Games and this time, Marcial scored a first round knockout. Nguyen took a standing eight-count then was decked as Marcial finished him off with a flourish. A win on Friday will take Marcial to the quarterfinals on Oct. 1. The semifinals are scheduled on Oct. 4 and the final on Oct. 5. Expected to crowd Marcial in the race to the top are Uzbekistan’s Turabek Khabibullaev, Kazakhstan's Nurbek Oralbay and China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke.

Marcial, 27, was set to face undefeated Antonio Woods in an eight-round pro bout in Las Vegas but when it was cancelled, the call to fight in the Asian Games----an Olympic boxing qualifier----came. “It’s a short period between Olympics, only three years and we made a team decision----Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Eumir, Princess, myself----that it would be a tremendous thing to go to the Asian Games and not to have any regrets in life that he could’ve, should’ve if he didn’t try to qualify for Paris,” said MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons. “You never want to regret what you could’ve done so we made the right decision.”

Action in Hangzhou boxing picks up today as heavyweight John Marvin takes on Nepal’s Nepal Rabin. Tomorrow, it’s lightmiddleweight Marjon Pianar’s turn to rumble as he meets Uzbekistan’s Asadkhuja Muydinkhujae. On Friday, featherweight Nesthy Petecio enters the ring to face Chinese-Taipei’s Lin Yu Ting and Marcial tangles with Nguyen in their third head-to-head clash.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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