By Riera U. Mallari
HANGZHOU – Michael Jordan kills the defense with his Fadeaway; Hakeem Olajuwon fools his man with his Dream Shake; while Muhammad Ali confuses his rivals with the Shuffle.
Add Tokyo Olympics’ bronze medalist Eumir Marcial to the long list of athletes with a “go-to” move when his life depended on it – the right hook.
Marcial is fighting in a different weight division (80kgs) in the Asian Games here, heavier than his bronze-clinching (75kgs) division in the Tokyo games.
But it didn’t matter, as Marcial appears to have settled down in his new weight division with scintillating wins over Vietnam’s Nguyen Manh Cuong (5-0) and SEA Games champion, Thailand’s Weerapong JongJoho, whom he eliminated with a second-round KO using that patented right hook, the same weapon that put the lights out of his hapless Syrian rival Ahmad Ghousoon at 1:49 of the second round in their lopsided semifinal faceoff.
“Kita ko kaagad, una pa lang na ininda niya ‘yung suntok ko, kaya sabi ko, dadahan-dahanin ko lang, at hayun, ang Panginoon po ang nag-gabay sa akin, siya po ang naglagay sa akin dito,” said Marcial, who with the win, advanced to the boxing finals and earned a seat in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
That’s two victims of that vicious right hook. In the same round. At just about the same time. A patented move that may have now warranted a nickname.
Pambansang Right Hook? Fear the Eumir? Marcial Law? Captain Hook? Frankie?
Personally, I’ll go with Frankie, just to be different.
But the “Pambansang Right Hook” has a nice ring…..in the boxing ring..…to it.