ASIAN GAMES: 3 Pinoy pugs aim to reach gold medal round

ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 30, 2018 10:24 PM
ASIAN GAMES: 3 Pinoy pugs aim to reach gold medal round
Eumir Felix Marcial (in blue) is one of three Filipino boxers who may advance to the gold medal round (PSC Pool Photo).

JAKARTA --- Three Filipino boxers climb the ring on Friday hoping to beat their respective foes to reach boxing’s gold medal round in the 18th Asian Games.

After five Filipinas bagged for the country four gold medals, the men on the 272-member Team Philippines will try to get close to capturing golds of their own.

They are Eumir Felix Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Rogen Ladon.

“We have three remaining boxers chasing the elusive medal. Hopefully, they can survive the great odds like they did in the past,” said Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines Executive Director Ed Picson, referring to Ladon, Paalam and Marcial, who have assured the Philippines of at least three bronze medals and will shoot for the gold-medal round in their respective semis bouts.

Of the three, the middleweight Marcial has the biggest chance of advancing, owing to his credentials as a two-time SEA Games champion and a silver medalist in the 2015 Thailand International Boxing Tournament and the Asian Boxing Championship in the same year and country.

Marcial, whose most impressive performance here was a Referee-Stopped Contest against pro boxer Nn Kuok Kun of Macau in the preliminaries, takes to the ring at 7:45 p.m. (8:45 in Manila) against Uzbekistan’s Israel Madrimov, who himself isn’t a slouch as he was a former Asian Boxing Champion in 2017.

The flyweight Ladon, a SEA Games silver medalist (2015), takes on at 2:15 p.m. Thailand’s Tongdee Yuttapong, a recent champion of the 2018 Thailand Boxing Tournament.

Meanwhile, the light flyweight Paalam, a Presidents Cup (2017) and Thailand Boxing Tournament (2018) titlist, fights at 6:15 p.m. India’s one-named boxer Amit, a Grand Prix Usti (2017) and Strandja Memorial (2018) champion.

“They have to dismantle all obstacles in the last two stages to reach the podium. It’s a difficult task. I have trust and confidence they can do it because they possess innate boxing skills and experience. They are grizzled veterans and battle-tested,” said Picson.

The last time a Filipino boxer won a gold medal in the Asiadwas during the 2010 Guangzhou Games, courtesy of flyweight Rey Saludar.

During the 2014 Incheon Asiad, lightweight Charly Suarez settled for a silver after he was beaten by Mongolia's Otgondalai Dornjyambuu in the finals.

In Jakarta, five Filipino boxers could not make it past the first round, namely Joel Bacho, Mario Fernandez, James Palicte, Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno, leaving the huge task of carrying the fight to Ladon, Marcial and Paalam.

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