No denying Marcial this time

March 09, 2020

Marcial, 24, peppered his foe with hard left straights and right hooks to the face and body, forcing the referee to give the Mongolian two standing 8-counts in the third round before finally calling a halt to the proceeding.

“Natupad na rin ang pangarap namin ng Papa ko mula nung bata pa ako,” a visibly emotional Marcial sobbed after the fight. “Lubos akong nagpapasalamat sa ABAP, lalo na kina chairman MVP at president Ricky Vargas, sa PSC at sa mga coaches ko especially sina coach Ronald (Chavez), coach Don (Abnett) at coach Elmer (Pamisa).”

“Apat na taon kong hinintay ito matapos na hindi ako nakaqualify nung 2016 dahil sa injury. Kaya napakatamis nito. Lalo ko pang dodoblehin ang training ko para makuha ko ang talagang target namin ng Papa ko- ang ginto sa Olympics,” he added.

Marcial became the third Pinoy athlete after gymnast Carlos Yulo and pole vaulter EJ Obiena to make it to the Olympics.

Marcial’s father Eulalio, who still trains young boxers in their hometown of Zamboanga City, was his first trainer.

Monday, world featherweight champion Nesthy Petecio attempts to join Marcial as she faces an old adversary, Japan’s Sena Irie. The two have each won one match against the other, the last one by Petecio at the World Championships in Russia October of last year.

Flyweight Irish Magno and lightweight Riza Pasuit are also one win away from an Olympic slot.

Magno has a tall order as she goes up against five-time world champion Meri Kom of India, while Pasuit faces the No. 3 seed in her division, Wu Yi-Shih of Chinese-Taipei.

Likewise, 21-year-old Carlo Paalam has a score to settle with Amit of India in their own flyweight tussle for an Olympic berth. The Indian boxer won close decisions against the Cagayan de Oro native in the 2018 Asian Games and in the World Championships last year.