‘Wake-up call’ as 4 Filipinos settle for bronze in Asian Elite boxing
MANILA, Philippines — Four Filipino bets, including highly-touted middleweight Eumir Marcial, settled for the bronze medal in the ASBC Asian Elite Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday night.
But while winning four medals is still something to be proud of, Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines chair Ricky Vargas said the result should also serve as a “wake up call.”
“Allow me to first congratulate all our boxers in the tournament, you gave it your all, and we are proud of all of you,” Vargas said in a statement.
“We are of course saddened by the loss of Eumir Marcial, but that’s boxing. Adjustments will have to be made and there is some time left. That said, I think this should be a wake up call for all concerned, not just to Marcial.”
Marcial, one of four national boxers bound for the Tokyo Olympics, bowed out after a 5-0 shutout to Saidjamshid Jafarov of Uzbekistan in the semifinals.
“We are happy that Marcial participated in this tournament under the aegis of ABAP and has committed to train under our coaches’ mentorship in this crucial period. This will address the kind of challenge he will face in Tokyo,” Vargas said.
Defending champion Josie Gabuco was also knocked off by an Uzbek in Gulasal Sultonalieva, 4-1, in the semis.
Like the veterans, newcomers light flyweight Mark Lester Duress and bantamweight Junmilardo Ogayre also failed to make the finals after losing to the top-ranked boxers in their respective weight class.
“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 line up because our top tier boxers are in Thailand, so 4 bronze in an Asian championship is nothing to be ashamed of,” said ABAP secretary general Ed Picson.
Aside from Marcial, who is a favorite to make the podium in the Summer Games this year, three others in Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam also booked a trip to Tokyo.
“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 said.
“Our coaching staff, under coach Donald Abnett, has drawn up a comprehensive 10-week program for the final push to the Olympics, attuned to the environment and platform in which the event will be staged,” he added.
Hi mga idol! I would like to express my apologies for not being able to bring home the gold medal. It may not be the…
Posted by Eumir Felix DS Marcial on Friday, May 28, 2021
Vargas also said Marcial will continue his Tokyo buildup in Colorado with the possibility of the other three Olympians joining him in camp.
“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,” he said. “USA Boxing is also graciously assisting us in getting visas for our three other Olympians and our coaches to the Colorado Springs camp.”
“After all is said and done, the journey to the Olympics should be a national effort. ABAP, as the national sports association for the sport, stands ready to support, nurture and guide our athletes in pursuing the dream, as we did in their long and arduous effort to qualify,” he added. “We enjoin everyone concerned to rally behind this unified effort to get them to the Tokyo Olympic podium.
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