SEA Games 2019: Pinoy pugs Marcial, Paalam, Gabuco punch their way into Finals

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 06, 2019 08:24 PM
SEAG 2019: Marcial, Paalam, Gabuco through to Boxing Finals
Eumir Marcial needed just one round to dispatch of his opponent and earn a finals berth in the 2019 SEA Games Men's Middleweight Boxing Tournament

MANILA - Filipino boxers Eumir Marcial, Carlo Paalam, and Josie Gabuco all had impressive outings in their respective semifinals bouts Friday at the PICC Forum here to move one step closer to gold medals in the on-going 2019 Southeast Asian Games Boxing Tournament. 

AIBA World Championships Silver Medalist Eumir Felix Marcial had arguably the most impressive outing in the tournament so far, as he demolished Malaysian Azmi Mohd Aswan Che en route to a first-round TKO (or Referee Stop Contest) victory in the Men's Middleweight Semifinals. 

Marcial blasted Che with a flurry of power punches that had the Malaysian rocked, leading to a standing 8-count. Che was able to recover but it was only a matter of time before Marcial sealed the win with even more power shots that the Malaysian could not stop. 

"Ginawa ko lang yung play ko talaga, yung tinuro ng coaches na mag-ingat, wag mag-kumpiyansa kasi pwede mangyari yung cuts," Marcial said post-fight. "Ginawa ko lang yung best ko para sa mga Pilipino na sumusuporta sa amin. Ginagawa namin yung lahat para makuha yung gold." 

In the Men's Light Flyweight Semifinals, Paalam outpointed Malaysian Muhamad Fuad Mohd Redzuan en route to a 5-0 Unanimous Decision win. 

In a rematch of their 2017 SEA Games bout wherein Paalam was on the losing end, the Pinoy was clearly the better boxer this time around as he dropped Redzuan early and continued to be one step ahead all bout long to earn the nod on all the of the judges' scorecards to advance to the gold medal match. 

In the Women's Light Flyweight semifinal, Gabuco also took the Unanimous Decision nod over Vietnam's Thi Diem Kieu Trinh. 

Gabuco, the four-time SEA Games gold medalist was in form as used her movement and timing to pepper Trinh with counter hooks to secure the win. 

"Patay na kung patay, huli na rin naman eh" Gabuco said, responding to a question about her mindset heading into the gold medal match. "Kasi sobrang tagal din ng pinag-hirapan namin para dito, sa pag-hahanda dito."

Women's Lightweight bet Riza Pasuin advanced into the semifinals via a bye, same with Men's Welterweight bet Marjon Pianar, who's through to the Finals. 

The day wasn't as good for three of their teammates however, as Women's Bantamweight Aira Villegas and Men's Bantamweight Ian Clark Bautista both absorbed losses and have bowed out of the tournament.

The SEA Games Boxing competition takes a break on Saturday, December 7th. Action continues on Sunday, December 8th.  

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