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Marcial guns for Asiad finals’ seat, berth in Paris Olympics

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Hangzhou—Two birds with one stone.

Tokyo Olympics’ bronze medalist Eumir Marcial shoots for a win that will get him a seat to the Olympics and catapult him to the finals of the men’s boxing competitions of the 19th Asian Games at the Hangzhou gymnasium on Wednesday night.

Fresh off a sensational second-round knockout win over SEA Games champion, Thailand’s Weerapong JongJoho, Marcial tries to stretch his unbeaten streak in the Asiad when he clashes with Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria in one of two semifinal bouts at 80kgs.

A win by the 27-year-old Marcial, who is now a pro boxer, will net him a seat in the finals, but more importantly, punch him a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Olympian Eumir Marcial (right) is declared the winner in his bout against Thailand’s SEA Games champion Weerapong JongJoho.

Boxing is one of six sports in these Asian Games, which serve as a qualifier to the Olympics.

Already assured of matching the same finish he had during the 2018 edition of the Asiad in Indonesia, Marcial bagged a bronze in the Tokyo Games, while fighting as a middleweight.

But he appears to be settling in his new weight class at light-heavy given the outcome of his previous fights.

Ghousoon, who comes from a family of boxers and served as flagbearer of Syria during the Asiad opening ceremony, fights with an aggressive stance and doesn’t know how to back down, a style which Philippine head coach Ronald Chavez finds to Marcial’s liking.

“Palusob,” Chavez described the 27-year-old Syrian, a 5-0 winner against Taijikistan Shabbos Negmatulloev in the quarterfinals.

Marcial said the experience he gained from his sparring sessions while in the US and the training he had during the boxing camp of the national team in Australia got him ready.

After winning his first four pro fights, Marcial has taken a break from his professional obligations to focus on the Asiad.

There was a scheduled pro fight last August, but Marcial’s camp sought for a new schedule.


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