Eumir Marcial KOs Syrian foe to earn Asian Games gold medal shot | Inquirer Sports
BONJOUR, PARIS

Eumir Marcial KOs Syrian foe to earn Asian Games gold medal shot

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
05:30 AM October 05, 2023

Philippines Eumir Felix Marcial in blue comfort Syria's Ahmad Ghousoon after defeating him in the Boxing Men's 71-80Kg Semifinal bout for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023.

Philippines Eumir Felix Marcial in blue comfort Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon after defeating him in the Boxing Men’s 71-80Kg Semifinal bout for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Eumir Marcial isn’t in a hurry to jump into a mega-buck fight anytime soon.

He has the Paris Olympics to look forward to.

And with that being said, Marcial will now be using his future pro fights to sharpen up for his quest for the gold medal that matters most next year.

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“I have one year to plan and prepare. I don’t have any scheduled [professional] fight yet, but I think I will gain more experience by fighting professionally,’’ Marcial said in Filipino after securing a slot in the light-heavyweight division of men’s boxing in the Olympics on Wednesday in scintillating fashion in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Marcial became the fourth Filipino to clinch a berth in the Summer Games after knocking out Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon in the second round of their semifinal bout in the men’s 80-kilogram division, giving the PH contingent a shot at a second gold medal here.

And it seems that Paris is all that matters at the moment, though Marcial is set to collide with China’s Tanglatihan Touhetaerbieke for the gold medal on Thursday evening.

“I’ll get to know several coaches and learn several more techniques in the pros. That will help me polish my skills once I prepare for the Olympics,’’ said Marcial.

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Already booking slots to Paris are gymnasts Caloy Yulo and Aleah Finnegan and world No. 2 pole vaulter EJ Obiena, who last Saturday won the country’s first gold medal in these Games after resetting the meet record to 5.95 meters.

With Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio, Tokyo Games medalists like Marcial bowing out earlier, all of PH boxing’s hopes now rests on Marcial’s shoulder.

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And he could hit two birds with one stone by turning back Touhetaerbieke, as Marcial had said that this event will be his last in terms of chasing a Paris slot.

“I knew it would be difficult, and I thought the Olympics wasn’t for me anymore,” a teary-eyed Marcial said. “But people continued to believe in me, telling me to to forge ahead, especially my wife.’’

The setup left

Marcial sneaked in a solid left to Ghousoon’s mid-section early in the second round that decked the Syrian for an eight count. Smelling blood, Marcial then went for the kill and landed that killer right hook that gave Ghousoon no chance of getting on his feet again on time.“He was hurt. So when I hit him with a right, I knew he wouldn’t stand up again,’’ said Marcial.

With that done, Marcial and his team will be plotting a game plan to overcome the home bet.

“Our basic strategy against China would be to score as many points and widen the gap as early as possible,” national coach Ronald Chavez said in Filipino when asked of the battle plan against Touhetaerbieke. “It’s the host country that we will be up against.

“We will be really lucky if he scores another knockout,” Chavez added. “We’ve seen his (Touhetaerbieke) videos before we came here. We will study how he won against the Uzbek.’’

Touhetaerbieke defeated Uzbekistan’s Turabek Khabibullaev in the other semifinal. Taking his chance in unfamiliar territory at the light-heavy division, Marcial is bracing for a harder route to the gold medal in the Olympics.

“You can see that the opponents here are bigger, especially if you fight against the Europeans, Cubans, Americans and South Americans in this division,’’ said Marcial.

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“They’re all taller because it’s their normal weight. I have one year to prepare for them,’’ added Marcial.

TAGS: Asian Games, Boxing, Eumir Marcial

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