Eumir Marcial delivered a show-stopping performance in the 19th Asian Games boxing competitions, securing a spot in the semifinals with a sensational knockout of Weerapong JongJoho late Sunday night, October 1.
The 27-year-old Olympian strategically set up his Thai opponent, delivering a precise right hook that sent JongJoho crashing to the canvas. The electrified crowd at the Hangzhou gymnasium witnessed the impressive victory, with the fight coming to a thrilling end with just 14 seconds left in the second round.
Marcial’s victory guarantees him a well-deserved bronze medal in the men’s 80 kg class. However, he has an opportunity to vie for the gold medal if he can overcome Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria in Wednesday’s semifinals.
There was a moment of concern in the opening round when JongJoho connected with a straight right that momentarily shook Marcial. He admitted, “Yes, I felt a bit dizzy when he hit me. You can see how big my opponent is.”
Despite facing adversity, the Olympic bronze medalist displayed exceptional composure and tactical awareness. Marcial recounted, “But I was watching the clock. I told myself, in the last one minute, I’ll give it my all. And there you have it, the result came out,” he exclaimed with a triumphant roar.
Head coach Ronald Chavez praised Marcial’s tactical prowess, saying, “I told him that if he lands one good shot, we’ll win.”
Now, Marcial looks ahead to a challenging semifinal match against Ahmad Ghousoon of Syria, who secured a unanimous decision victory, 5-0, against Shabbos Negmatulloev of Tajikistan in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, Carlo Paalam, another accomplished Olympian, seeks to follow in Marcial’s footsteps as he faces the daunting task of squaring off against reigning world champion Carlo Khalokov Abdumalik of Uzbekistan in Tuesday’s quarterfinal round at 7:30 p.m. at the Hangzhou gymnasium.
The Tokyo silver medalist advanced to the quarterfinals after dispatching Uulu Munarbek Seiitbek of Kyrgyzstan with a 4-1 victory in the Round-of-16. Seiitbek, 27, was a bronze medalist in the last World Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Paalam acknowledges the stiff competition in the stacked roster of the men’s 57 kg class, a weight division he is competing in for the first time. Although the challenge is formidable, head coach Ronald Chavez expresses confidence in Paalam’s capabilities against Khalokov.
“Carlo is more than capable of defeating him,” said Chavez, undeterred by the fact that Paalam is the shortest contender in his division, having moved up from 54 kg, where he secured a silver in the Olympics.