MANILA, Philippines – Eumir Marcial lived up to the billing as the top seed in the 2020 Asia and Oceania Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan as he struck gold in the men’s light heavyweight class.
The heavy-handed Filipino proved the busier fighter against Abilkhan Amankul of Kazakhstan in a slugfest of a finals to hack out the split decision victory on Thursday, March 12, Manila time.
Narrowly winning the first two rounds, Marcial puffed enough gas in the third and final round to have 3 judges score in his favor, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, while two judges had it 29-28, 29-28 for Amankul.
Despite already achieving his main goal of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Marcial pulled out all the stops to clinch the gold medal, landing crisp jabs to the head and haymakers to the body.
His gold-medal aspirations, though, were nearly dashed when Marcial fell following a shot to the body late in the third round.
Fortunately, the referee did not count it as a knockdown as Marcial held on to the win against his fellow world championship silver medalist Amankul.
The 24-year-old, who hails from Zamboanga City, will now rest before returning to work with coach Ronald Chavez as they gear up for the Olympics in July.
Joining Marcial in Tokyo so far are fellow boxer Irish Magno, gymnast Carlos Yulo, and pole vaulter EJ Obiena.
Meanwhile, other members of the Philippine boxing team who failed to nail an Olympic spot in the regional qualifiers will have another chance in the World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Paris, France in May. – Rappler.com