Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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Eumir back to pros

Asian Games lightheavyweight boxing silver medalist Eumir Marcial said yesterday he’ll fly back to his Las Vegas training camp under US Olympic coach Kompa (Kay) Koroma as soon as his passport is cleared for renewal. Marcial has qualified to represent the country at the Paris Games and plans to pursue one or two pro fights before focusing on preparations for the Olympics set on July 26-Aug. 11.

Marcial, 28, was booked to face unbeaten Antonio Woods in an eight-rounder on the Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo undercard at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last Sept. 30 but withdrew to compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games for the chance to qualify for Paris. Marcial said after claiming the bronze as a middleweight at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he wouldn’t be content until the gold is in the bag. In Paris, the 75kg middleweight division has been removed, forcing Marcial to move up to the 80kg class. “’Di problema ang timbang,” said Marcial who weighed in every morning of his five fights in Hangzhou. “Sa pro, isang timbangan lang day before the fight. Actually, ‘di ko expected na aabot ako ng finals sa Asian Games kasi first time ko lumaban ng lightheavyweight.”

Marcial disclosed that during his first fight against Mongolia’s Dalai Ganzorig in Hangzhou, his right hand swelled. His next fight was five days later so there was time for the swelling to subside. He later did his own wraps to make sure the bandages were secure to protect his hands. After four wins, including two by knockout, Marcial lost to China’s Tuohetaebieke Tanglatihan on points in the final. Tanglatihan was given a standing eight-count in the first round but returned the favor in the second. Marcial said he was distracted by the second round eight-count, lost focus and it seemed like the judges were swayed by the hometown crowd. He accepted the verdict and said it wasn’t the first time losing a disputed decision. His reward for the silver was a cool P2 million plus more incentives from POC and MVP Sports Foundation.

“Marami pa akong kailangan matuto kay coach Kay na siya ang humawak kay Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson,” said Marcial. “Boxing skills, power, experience at style. Todo focus ako sa Olympics. Ibibigay ko ang lahat at tuloy ang sakripisyo para sa bayan.”

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

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