August 30, 2018 at 08:35 pm
Riera U. Mallari
Jakarta—Boxing officials are confident that their three remaining Filipino bets in Eumir Felix Marcial, Carlo Paalam and Rogen Ladon will be up to the task in delivering a gold medal or three for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games here.
“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 3 bronze medals and will shoot for the gold-medal round in the semis against different foes today.
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 pm (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 Asiad was 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. They are Joel Bacho, Mario Fernandez, James Palicte, Nesthy Petecio and Irish Magno. This left the huge task of carrying the fight to Ladon, Marcial and Paalam.