Asian Games

Eumir Marcial KOs Syrian, advances to Asian Games final to punch Olympic ticket

Delfin Dioquino

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Eumir Marcial KOs Syrian, advances to Asian Games final to punch Olympic ticket

PUNCH. The Philippines' Eumir Marcial in action during the 19th Asian Games.

PSC-POC Media Pool

Eumir Marcial stops Syria's Ahmad Ghousoon in the second round to reach the men's 80kg final in the Asian Games and secure his place in the Paris Olympics

MANILA, Philippines – Eumir Marcial scored another rousing stoppage win in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, to book a return trip to the Olympics.

The only Filipino boxer standing, Marcial qualified for the Paris Games after a second-round knockout of Syria’s Ahmad Ghousoon in their men’s 80kg semifinal at the Hangzhou, Gymnasium on Wednesday, October 4.

Marcial decked Ghousoon with a lethal right hook to the head with under two minutes left in the second round as he advanced to the final and guaranteed himself of at least a silver.

Only the finalists in the division will qualify for the Paris Olympics, where Marcial looks to go all the way after bagging a men’s 75kg bronze in the Tokyo Games two years ago.

It was the second straight stoppage victory for the pride of Zamboanga after he also claimed a second-round knockout of Thailand’s Weerapon Jongjoho in their quarterfinal duel.

Marcial narrowly won the opening round with three of the five judges scoring in his favor as Ghousoon – the aggressor in his previous bouts – picked his spots.

Ghousoon changed his tactic and went on the offensive in the second round, but that proved to be his undoing.

A loose left hook by the Syrian paved the way for Marcial to connect on his vicious right hook and floor Ghousoon, forcing the referee to stop the bout with 1:49 minutes left in the round.

Marcial will face China’s Tuohetaerbieke Tanglatihan in the final on Thursday, hoping to deliver the Philippines’ first gold in Asian Games boxing in over a decade.

A silver medalist in the World Boxing Championships in May, Tanglatihan earned a 4-1 win over Uzbekistan’s Turabek Khabibullaev in the other semifinal bracket.

The country has not won a boxing gold in the continental showpiece since Rey Saludar ruled the men’s 52kg category in 2010.

Marcial joins pole vaulter EJ Obiena and gymnasts Carlos Yulo and Aleah Finnegan in Paris. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.