Marvin diverts boxing focus
No doubt John Tupas Marvin is the most impressive boxer in the ongoing 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Marvin is a Fil-British whose experience was to fight in competitions mostly in the British Army where he’s a member.
He gained sudden national attention after disposing a Malaysian in just 21 seconds of the first round of the light heavyweight division finals via RSC-O (Referee-Stopped-Contest-Outclassed).
Marvin’s epic win in the light heavyweight category was the first medal for the country since the 1999 SEA Games and the first gold since Raymundo Suizo’s back-to-back victories in 1989 and 1991.
Boxing association executive director Ed Picson discovered the marvelous boxer through e-mail in April when he received message from Marvin inquiring how he can join the national team.
Marvin, a Londoner born to a British father and mom Teresita from Lubao, Pampanga, even sent videos in tournaments he had competed in after learning that the biennial meet organizers decided to bring the light heavyweight back to the SEA Games.
At first, Picson did not give Marvin’s message too much attention because their concentration is on the lighter classes.
But when the Kuala Lumpur organizing committee informed the boxing body that the men’s division will be limited to six categories, minus the lightweight and welterweight but with the light heavyweight included, Picson reconsidered.
Knowing the possibility of winning at least a bronze medal in the light heavyweight division due to scarcity of entries from other countries, the boxing association executive director gave Marvin a two-way ticket to try out.
The light heavyweight division was a source of medals for the Philippines from way back.
Aside from Suizo’s back-to-back gold at the l989 and 1991 SEA Games, Emmanuel Legaspi also won a bronze in 1995 and Ernesto Coronel, two bronze medals in 1997 and 1999.
The golden victory, the fastest stoppage in the games, surely ignited boxing officials’ interest to field heavyweight boxers in future international competitions where the country could strike gold in the Olympics.